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From the library of What’s next: archives from Dragon Professional

Making a difference at IACP 2019

This year’s International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (IACP 2019) underscored the trend of law enforcement professionals embracing technological innovation and smart tools in their day-to-day duties, while they simultaneously look to a next-generation of AI-powered solutions that will provide higher-quality enforcement outcomes, at lower cost, all while enhancing on the job safety.
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Since 2016, Nuance has been proud to exhibit at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) conference, this year held in Chicago.  Each year I challenge my team to reflect on their discussions with law enforcement professionals, the trends taking shape in law enforcement, and ultimately how our exhibit and activities at IACP will reflect those learnings and conversations.

Our team was up to the challenge.  In addition to our exhibit with dedicated “demo pods” showcasing Dragon Law Enforcement, we brought to life an initial vision of a frequent customer request – a glassed-in faux interview room featuring a “detective” interrogating a “suspect” about a fictitious liquor store robbery. As the two spoke, the dialogue merged instantly into a time-stamped transcript displayed on flat-panel displays.  Once transcribed, the interview record can be exported, and keyword searched.  While not yet a solution available to law enforcement, Nuance is offering a similar solution today in the healthcare sector with our ambient clinical intelligence technology that listens to and documents clinician-patient conversations.  Interest from IACP attendees is high, with numerous inquiries to partner with Nuance and bring “the interview room of the future” to market.  I invite you to view a clip of our vision from the IACP exhibit hall.

We were also privileged to moderate a panel, Alleviating Paperwork Burnout in Policing: Why Departments Need to Turn to New Police Reporting Tools featuring Chief Kyle Heagney of the Attleboro, MA police department and Captain Paul Williams of the San Bernardino, CA police department.  Both brought to life their experiences relative to how the burden of mandated documentation has increased. For instance, budget pressures have forced officers to take on more administrative work, thus reducing the time they can actively “police,” increasing the potential risk to both officers and the community. As a result, law enforcement is looking to other document-intensive industries, like healthcare, as they adopt smart-tools to increase documentation quality while reducing costs.   Many of the themes discussed on the panel are echoed in the 2019 Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork survey, the results of which were released in tandem with the IACP conference.

IACP 2019 represented another banner year for Nuance in law enforcement. We have been honored to hear first-hand how our natural speech and language understanding technology is making a difference for police officers, even as we share our learnings about challenges they face as the law enforcement profession becomes more document-intensive.  We look forward to reconnecting with the community in New Orleans next year for IACP 2020!

Police Paperwork Survey

Nuance Dragon survey finds paperwork burden in policing impacts core areas, including report quality, community service, and officer burnout. Explore results.

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New survey reveals impact of paperwork burden in policing

The 2019 Nuance Dragon Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Survey finds paperwork burden in policing impacts core areas, including report quality, community service, and officer burnout, and law enforcement professionals agree that they need more modern solutions to help solve these problems.
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The time to move towards more modern police reporting tools is running down fast, and police departments will do well to heed its call. Automated police reporting solutions are no longer a “nice-to-have,” but a “must-have,” as recent data from our second annual Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Survey suggests.

The law enforcement professionals who responded to our survey say they want more robust solutions to help with incident reporting. They also agree that manual and disconnected documentation processes impact their work, community service, and contribute to burnout and can affect their safety.

Paperwork’s impact on productivity, community visibility

Over 56% of respondents from our survey say they spend at least 3 hours or more on reporting and other paperwork. Of these, 71% indicate that 1 hour or more of this time is spent in the patrol vehicles completing incident reports. Over 86% of survey respondents are concerned about how in-car documentation can contribute to their safety, specifically when it comes to situational awareness.

Increased documentation demands also limit the time officers spend within the community, according to the survey results. Over 91% of respondents say reporting demands are causing them to spend too much time on administrative work and less time out in the field. Not surprisingly, a majority of respondents (81%) say they are very concerned that this impacts officer burnout.

While paperwork problems appear to be great, almost half of survey respondents say their departments have yet to take steps to help reduce the administrative burden on officers. And 70% say that their department does not focus enough resources or budget to help.

Police departments need to evolve to modern reporting tools      

Ninety-four percent of survey respondents indicate that inaccurate or inefficient reporting processes impact report quality, and the prospect that they will need to revisit an individual report within the chain of the judicial process is high.

The news is not all grim. Seventy percent of departments in our survey recognize that they need to adopt new, innovative technologies to help improve incident reporting, officer safety, and community visibility. Law enforcement professionals agree that new police reporting solutions can help with the quality and consistency of the reports they deliver to prosecutor and district attorneys’ offices. And a vast majority say that technology can also help improve officer morale and retention, according to 45% of survey respondents.

The 2019 Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Survey was deployed to more than 11,000 Police Chiefs and their Command Staff, including Patrol Officers, Detectives, Sergeants, Lieutenants and those responsible for IT and Records Management Systems (RMS). You can read the full results here.

Police Paperwork Survey

Nuance Dragon survey finds paperwork burden in policing impacts core areas, including report quality, community service, and officer burnout. Explore results.

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The rising impact of technology in law enforcement

As I think about the future of law enforcement, it’s clear that technology is playing a significant role in the police force of tomorrow. Tools like body cams, facial recognition software, to speech recognition are changing the way officers work – and proving to be an essential piece of the arsenal for agencies.
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As we continue to prepare for IACP 2019, this year has sparked a lot of conversation amongst my team and me about how technology has become an integral piece of the law enforcement arsenal. It’s exciting to see the impact new technology is making and how it is shaping the future of law enforcement. These solutions offer a better way to help address challenges these professionals and agencies face, from report quality and efficiency to officer safety and how they serve their communities.

It is incredible to see how quickly the adoption of new tools has grown. Face recognition technology and body cameras continue to emerge to increase both officer safety and community service. Facial recognition software used to sound like science fiction. Still, a recent study in Massachusetts found that 64% of Bay State residents say it has the potential to keep them safer. Also, body cameras are gaining more widespread use as departments realize the value in capturing the exact content of each encounter – for both officers and the civilians they serve.

Even with everyday tasks like incident reporting, we see shifts towards more automated systems. Reports which are maintained using records management systems (RMS) are now being integrated with modern technology, like speech recognition software, to help capture and move this mission-critical information faster and more efficiently.

This is an exciting time for those who are developing new technology for the public safety industry. We’re all working to help empower law enforcement professionals to serve their communities better, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what’s next.

Join us at IACP 2019

Attending IACP Conference 2019? Stop by the Nuance Dragon booth (#3426) and learn how we can help make incident reporting faster, safer and complete – by voice.

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The countdown to IACP 2019

The International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference (IACP 2019) is right around the corner. My team and I are getting excited about the conversations we will share with law enforcement professionals from across the country, the opportunity to discuss the challenges they face, and hear about the technology they see shaping the future of policing.
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In my blog last month, I discussed how my team and I have been preparing for the upcoming International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference (IACP 2019). Now, with the show only a few weeks away, we are getting excited about the opportunity to speak to law enforcement professionals from across the country and learn about the issues most important to them. We will also have a chance to connect with our customers and discuss the technologies they say will shape the future of policing.

This year’s agenda appears to be jam-packed and centers around finding the answers to tomorrow’s challenges in law enforcement – a theme that rings particularly true for my team and me. As we speak to and learn from police chiefs and their command staff, one topic that continually comes up is how routine tasks, like incident reporting, get in the way of their ability to focus on mission-critical tasks, like being out in the community.

This topic is particularly important to us as well. Nuance will deliver a panel discussion at the conference which addresses this very subject, the burden of paperwork in policing and the ripple effects it can have on departments, from limiting community visibility, the accuracy and completeness of reports, to burnout and officer safety.

Our panel, Alleviating Paperwork Burnout in Policing: Why Departments Need to Turn to New Police Reporting Tools, will include police chiefs who, along with Nuance, will address this important issue within the industry. It takes place on Sunday, October 27th at 12:30 PM in room W192c at McCormick Place West.

If you plan to attend the IACP 2019 Conference, October 27-29, 2019 in Chicago, IL,  stop by our booth #3426 and let’s chat about the future of technology in law enforcement. We hope to see you in Chicago.

Join us at IACP 2019

Attending IACP Conference 2019? Stop by the Nuance Dragon booth (#3426) and learn how we can help make incident reporting faster, safer and complete – by voice.

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The rising tide of a flexible, mobile workforce

Workplace flexibility is becoming an expectation among today’s employees, fueled by mobile apps, cloud computing, and other productivity solutions. Companies who accept this rising tide will be better prepared to attract and maintain the best talent. Is your organization ready?
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Workplace flexibility was once a cutting-edge idea, differentiating new, trendy companies from the pack. Today it’s proving to be an essential recruitment tool, a factor that many organizations need to consider to attract and maintain the best talent.

In a recent New York Times article, employees say they are willing to accept lower-paying jobs in exchange for the ability to work when and where they choose. Moreover, the best employees, those that have the leverage to negotiate, are leaving traditional employers to build careers where they have greater flexibility.  For a younger generation entering the workforce, who do not remember a time without the immediate access mobile tools provide, the idea of being tied down to a desk from 9-5 doesn’t compute.

The same article also references a Harvard Business School/Boston Consulting Group Study. The survey of 11,000 workers and 6,500 business leaders asks what factors they think will impact the future of work. It found that a majority of respondents say employees expect flexible, autonomous work, better work-life balance, and remote working. However, only 30% believe that their company is prepared for this shift.

Smartphones have put computers in our pockets, proving that almost anything can get done on-the-go, and there is no turning back. Fortunately, productivity solutions, like mobile dictation apps, give many of these employees who want or need flexibility, the power to work wherever they want.  Is your organization ready?

Empower mobile productivity

Give your mobile workforce the power to get paperwork and other documentation done wherever their job takes them, with Dragon Anywhere Group, the cloud-based professional-grade mobile dictation solution for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

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Take a moment to celebrate working parents today

National Working Parents Day has me thinking about how important it is to have a healthy work-life balance — as working parents, being more efficient means that not only can we get more done, faster but also that we can confidently put aside our jobs at the end of the day and enjoy time with family.
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If social media is any indication, there seems to be a day to celebrate nearly everything. This week’s National Working Parent’s Day, which many observe today, really caught my attention. While my team and I speak about productivity often, today has me thinking about the delicate balance all parents must make between their jobs and family life.

Today is an opportunity to pause and appreciate the time and energy all working parents contribute to their jobs – and families. For many, like myself, the workday often starts long before the commute, making breakfasts, packing lunches, and getting kids dressed and ready to head out the door. And like many of you, it continues long after we leave the office, chauffeuring kids to and from after school activities, to homework help, and getting them fed.

Being a parent is a full-time job, which can often make for an interesting balancing act, with competing demands of home life and work obligations eating up the week fast. That’s why, for working parents, being more productive with our time is essential. The more efficiently we can work, the more we can focus on our families.

To all the working parents out there, thank you for all that you do. And here is my shameless plug…Dragon Anywhere is a great mobile productivity app.

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Gearing up for IACP 2019

As we get ready for IACP 2019, we look at why departments need better methods and technologies to help improve incident reporting, and how powerful new police reporting solutions will help shape police paperwork in the future.
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In September, my team and I start planning for our massive event schedule. The International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference (IACP 2019) in Chicago this coming October is one of them. This year’s theme, in particular, “Shaping the Future of Law Enforcement,” caught my attention.

As we look at advancements in technology, one area that is gaining momentum is automated solutions to help with police incident reporting. Like other industries that rely on extensive documentation, law enforcement has begun to realize that the future-state of reporting can’t be only a manual one.

There is no room or space for inaccurate, incomplete, or delayed reports for these professionals. Departments who understand this recognize that they can no longer rely on manual documentation methods.  They need their officers to create incident reports faster to meet prosecution deadlines, and to capture as much detail and accuracy of each civilian encounter as possible.

Officers, who write reports in the field or are hunched over the MDT to enter data or lookup license plates, need better ways to stay heads-up and situationally aware. If departments do not address these problems, it can eat away at productivity, reduce community visibility, and, in general, contribute to risk – from burnout to impeding officer safety.

It will serve departments well to look at better methods and technologies to help improve incident reporting, and robust new police reporting solutions will shape how police paperwork gets done in the future.

If you plan to attend IACP 2019, stop by our booth. I’d love to chat with you about the future.

Join us at IACP 2019

Attending IACP Conference 2019? Stop by the Nuance Dragon booth (#3426) and learn how we can help make incident reporting faster, safer and complete – by voice.

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Build better customer relationships with digital automation

Digital automation tools will continue to gain momentum. They can help reduce time spent on routine tasks and provide individuals and organizations alike the ability to focus on what matter most – their customers and community.
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I recently came across an article that stated six out of every ten employees expect that they will have artificial intelligence or advanced automation solutions in place by 2022. What was once considered reserved for only early adopters and leading tech teams, is now being used to speed up routine tasks such as eDiscovery in law firms, clinical documentation in healthcare, and license plate lookups in law enforcement.

As customers expect more personalized service, and businesses look at ways to improve efficiencies, AI-powered solutions are proving to be necessary to help boost productivity. These productivity gains correlate to hundreds of hours of time savings for individuals and organizations, especially important to those who focus on client and community service.

Financial Services is an excellent example of an industry reliant on driving exceptional client care. In a recent national survey of its advisors, 88% say that mastering “soft-skills” like communication and time-management are even more critical to client service than technical knowledge of financial products. In a competitive environment, where time matters, the trend to adopt digital automation will undoubtedly continue.

A physician, who can spend hours on clinical documentation for each patient encounter, benefits tremendously from automated solutions. They can help free up hours of time spent on paperwork, which means more for patient care. Likewise, police officers, who also spend countless hours on documentation, are using robust AI-based police reporting tools to speed up the creation of incident reports and return time to community service.

Digital automation tools will continue to gain momentum. They can help reduce time spent on routine tasks and provide individuals and organizations alike the ability to focus on what matter most – their customers and community.

Streamline documentation

Discover how to boost documentation productivity, while improving quality and customer service – all by voice.

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Why back to school resets my focus to saving time

As the summer comes to a close, our Nuance interns graduate, and my kids head back to school, I’m reminded again at how fast time goes. Back to school always re-sets my focus back to saving time and how I can work more efficiently, so I get to spend even more of it with my wife and kids.
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This summer, we had more than 30 interns from universities across the country working throughout the company, in departments from Research and Development, Finance, Marketing, Professional Services, Information Technology, and Sales Operations.

Our interns spent twelve weeks with us. They had an opportunity to contribute to our teams, participate in “lunch and learns,” volunteer, and hear from our executive team as a part of an ongoing speaker series. Last week, they presented their final projects, and we also celebrated their graduation. It was thrilling to watch how much information they absorbed and thank them for their hard work as they head back at school.

I always re-set my focus as the back to school timeframe begins, and my kids get ready to return to school. I, like many parents, start to think about the best way to map out my work week. Finding time becomes even more critical when it comes to setting aside enough of it for homework, sports, and the many demands that come along with a new school year.

While the end of the summer is always rife with that little bit of regret, back to school also portends new beginnings. This year, I plan to make the most of my time so that I can enjoy as much as I can with my wife and kids.

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Making time to deliver an excellent client experience

The ability to foster strong customer relationships is a crucial differentiator in financial services, and advisors who can build trust with their customers have a definite leg up on the competition. But when mundane tasks fill up the day, it can be challenging to find time to dedicate to building customer rapport. New productivity solutions can help automate tasks and free up time to build stronger relationships.
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Financial advisors, like many professionals in service-related fields, spend a lot of time on administrative work. They need to keep up with daily paperwork, meet regulatory compliance requirements, and deliver the right products and services to clients. For advisors, a considerable part of providing an excellent customer experience is their ability to mitigate the degree of risk clients feels when making financial decisions.

Building this level of trust requires even more time fostering strong client relationships. A recent survey found that 88% of financial advisors say mastering “soft-skills” like communication and time-management are even more important than their technical knowledge of financial products.

But trust-building takes time. It takes phone calls, face-to-face conversations, and spending that extra twenty minutes to make sure clients understand the decisions about their investments. When advisors have so many of their hours tied up with admin tasks like paperwork, it can be tough to build a solid foundation with the customer.

Today, more advisors are turning to digital automation solutions to help them complete their administrative work faster and free up time. In the same survey, 58% of advisors indicated that digital automation in financial services has the potential to free them from mundane tasks and improve client service.

There is no question, financial advisors have a lot to keep up with, and there are only so many hours in the day. But if they can make time to curate genuine trust in client relationships, it can make all the difference to both their client’ success and their own.

Streamline financial documentation

Discover how to boost documentation productivity, while improving compliance and customer service – all by voice.

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AI is capturing the legal industry’s attention

The mystique around Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a barrier to adoption for smaller firms, many of which consider AI-based solutions and technologies to be a luxury reserved for larger firms and legal departments. As client expectations continue to rise, delivering excellent service will require them to adopt new processes and solutions – fast. AI-powered tools can help.
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The mystique around AI technology is driving a tendency for lawyers, especially those working in small practices, to believe that it’s inaccessible. And, it is a luxury that only larger legal firms and departments can afford. The increased adoption and availability of AI solutions is proving that it is not only accessible but may be necessary.

Firms of all sizes are turning to AI-powered technologies to steer them towards innovative approaches to meet their clients’ needs and automate business processes. Legal tech spending hit $1 billion last year, with lawyers embracing new tools like case management software such as eDiscovery, mandated in some states. AI-based solutions are now being used to automate processes like patent tracking and are extending into services like live video-streaming to better connect with clients.

As with every innovation, the legal industry finds both pros and cons to adopting new technologies. In a recent Forbes article, legal professionals are battling both the benefits of deploying AI-based solutions into their practices, as well as the human toll these may have. The fear that these solutions can eliminate positions, like paralegal and legal research and reduce the number of billable hours a lawyer can charge is substantial.

Regardless of this, law office productivity software, in particular, continues to be in great demand. For a profession that is highly document-based, tools like customized legal speech recognition offer many benefits when it comes to creating and managing legal documentation. The ability to easily dictate or transcribe audio files gives lawyers tremendous flexibility in ensuring comprehensive and accurate data is captured and distributed within critical practice and case management systems.

AI can seem intimidating. As new tools and technologies emerge faster than ever, it can feel hard to keep up. Legal professionals realize that this trend will continue and they need to embrace solutions that will empower them to be more productive and meet the evolving expectations of clients.

Streamline legal documentation

Help your employees stay competitive and improve client service with speech recognition solutions that help streamline legal documentation.

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Making real-time reporting and data sharing a reality

As technology continues to evolve, work is moving towards a wherever and whenever model with enterprise mobility driving growth for solutions that allow for real-time data sharing. These cross-platform, cloud-based solutions help improve collaboration, report detail, and accuracy, as well as customer and community service.
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Growing shifts in mobilization mean business is moving faster than ever today. Technology not only enables us to work with increased efficiency and speed but also more productively. The demand for smart devices and cloud-based applications make it easier to work across different platforms to capture, report, and share data and helps drive better customer and community service.

This real-time collaboration is even more critical for organizations that have systems in place to share, such as computer-aided dispatch and records management systems (CAD/RMS) in law enforcement, electronic health records in healthcare, or other customer relationship management tools. They need to ensure that information does not become siloed, and users can capture and share information effortlessly.

The issue of real-time data sharing was the primary focus of a recent National Association of Counties 84th Annual Conference and Exposition, where three county governments presented their plan to make data integration a top priority to better serve their populations.

Law Enforcement, who depend on their CAD/RMS systems to quickly and accurately document and share mission-critical information, are beginning to recognize this more as well. Many departments are now starting to use intelligent voice-powered technologies to make it not only more convenient and faster to help search for and document mission-critical information, but also keep officers safer by letting them be more attuned to their surroundings. Using these integrated, mobile solutions, they are better able to capture, document, and share information within the CAD/RMS and stay heads-up and situationally aware.

As technology continues to evolve and we begin to work more wherever and whenever, organizations who embrace solutions that allow for real-time data sharing can improve collaboration, report detail, and accuracy, and more importantly, community and customer service.

Empower mobile productivity

Give your mobile workforce the power to complete reports and other documents wherever their job takes them, with Dragon Anywhere Group, the cloud-based professional-grade mobile dictation solution for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets

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Why focusing on documentation productivity is the right move in business

Central to any business productivity improvement strategy is to work smarter and faster. When it comes to documentation, being more efficient, accurate and flexible all result in better business outcomes, from improved productivity, higher accuracy, to better client service and more satisfied employees.
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For all the talk and shifts towards all-things digital and connected in our personal lives, many businesses are still slow to make a move toward automated and optimized document processes. A recent study found that 84% of small companies, as one example, often rely on manual input methods to complete reporting and other documentation.

One need only look to the paper trail within an organization to determine the health of its documentation workflow. More interesting is that while inefficient and often cumbersome, manual documentation still takes precedence over more streamlined and automated processes. As a business strategy, this might not be the right move.

That industry still relies heavily on manual documentation, however unfortunate, does not surprise us. A recent survey of law enforcement agencies finds police officers, whose incident reports are the bedrock of the justice system, still use hand-written notes or manually type reports back at the station.

There is good news for the public safety sector, which is beginning to place urgency on helping to alleviate the paperwork burden in policing. Cities such as Los Angeles are aggressively building plans to leverage technology to help officers reduce administrative tasks, and more and more police departments are starting to move towards documentation productivity solutions like speech recognition so officers can build their reports in a faster, safer and more complete way by voice.

The hazards of paperwork inefficiencies are not only relegated to time management issues. Inefficient documentation processes have ripple effects across organizations, from reporting errors and problems with non-compliance, missed deadlines to paperwork burnout and customer service. Financial advisors, for instance, say that the due diligence required to meet regulatory compliance limits the valuable face time they want to spend with clients.

Central to any business productivity improvement strategy is to work smarter and faster. When it comes to documentation, being more efficient, accurate, and flexible all result in better business outcomes, from improved productivity, higher accuracy, to better client service and more satisfied employees. Focusing on documentation productivity is the right move in business.

Drive Business Productivity

Empower employees to create high-quality documentation faster and more efficiently, while saving your business time and money.

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The smart move towards enterprise mobility

Employees today expect to be able to access their work wherever, whenever. This changing tide is carrying with it the need for organizations to adopt mobile solutions that will help empower them to be just as productive on-the-go as they are at their desks.
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I recently came across an article about the growing use of mobile solutions, such as smartphones and cloud-sharing apps, and how they are changing the corporate landscape. The ability to stay connected and access and share data in real-time is exciting to us and builds on our long-term vision of designing powerful solutions to improve productivity.

This desire for anywhere, anytime access is driving significant investments into smart, connected devices and the adoption of mobile business solutions at such a growth rate that spending is expected to reach $26 billion in 2025.

Not surprisingly, organizations and individuals have similar expectations today; they want to work and access information from anywhere. But, in order to maintain the quality of their work while on-the-go, they need to adopt solutions that are optimized for mobile use.

These mobile solutions can be an asset to productivity. Many physicians, for instance, who spend a significant part of their day documenting patient care are now turning to cloud-based solutions to document directly in the EHR (electronic health record) in real-time, saving hundreds of hours to capture this data, even when they are away from their workstations

The same is true for police officers who need to produce countless incident reports when out on patrol. Armed with rugged in-car laptops and new mobile dictation applications, they can create them in real-time. This helps cut down after-hours reporting and moves criminal proceedings along faster.

From improving productivity and efficiency to data integrity and peer-to-peer communication, enterprise mobility is a smart move that can help empower employees with the ability to be just as productive on-the-go as they are at their desks.

Improve mobile productivity

Give your mobile workforce the power to get paperwork and other documentation done wherever their job takes them, with Dragon Anywhere Group, the cloud-based professional-grade mobile dictation solution for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets

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Alleviating the paperwork burden in policing

The medical community recognized early that the threat of paperwork overload on doctors - and their patients – was great. They began to acknowledge and address burnout by turning to powerful documentation solutions to help return time back to doctors so that they could better care for patients. Law enforcement needs to do the same.
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Paperwork burnout is not a new phenomenon. Recently, however, the impact of heavy documentation on increasing burnout is making headlines again. The healthcare industry, in fact, just declared burnout a crisis for physicians, which is not surprising considering that doctors can spend as much as half of their workday on clinical documentation. The same holds true for law enforcement.

According to a recent national survey of police departments across the country, a large majority of officers say they spend anywhere from 3-4 hours per shift on incident reporting. This time is spent completing paperwork at the station, filing reports in their patrol vehicles within computer-aided dispatch or records management systems or finishing up administrative tasks after hours. Like physicians, police officers are feeling the seismic shift of heavy reporting demands, which has turned their focus away from caring for people within their communities (the original purpose for getting into law enforcement) to spending hours on documentation.

The ripple effects of the paperwork burden on law enforcement are great. Incomplete and inaccurate reports can mean missed deadlines or stall criminal proceedings. Heads-down reporting in patrol vehicles leads to distractions and limits situational awareness, resulting in safety issues. Time spent on reporting and not patrolling the streets can impede community visibility and the overall administrative burden on officers’ compounds issues with burnout.

The medical community recognized early that the threat of paperwork overload on doctors – and their patients – was great. They began to acknowledge and address it by turning to powerful documentation solutions, with the goal of giving back doctors time so that they could better care for patients. Law enforcement needs to do the same.

Reduce paperwork burnout

Remove obstacles within documentation workflows and help reduce paperwork burnout for your employees.

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Technology helps officers stay situationally aware

Adopting new technologies in policing not only helps departments improve the safety of their officers, but also the citizens within their communities, and modernizing with new police reporting solutions can go a long way in accomplishing these goals.
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There is a great deal of training involved in becoming a police officer, which makes sense, it’s a dangerous job.  Part of this training includes being well-versed on situational awareness, an important skill that officers learn using various tactical techniques. These include how and when to maintain a safe space between themselves and citizens, to specific patterns of behavior they should look for when out on patrol.  But what about staying heads-up when reporting?

An even more critical time for officers to be aware of their surroundings is when they are heads-down in the patrol vehicle, even when stationary. This is when they can be at their most vulnerable. Unfortunately, this is a situation that occurs more often than not; in fact, a recent national survey of police departments found that officers can spend up to 25 percent of their time completing incident reports while out on patrol. It’s in these instances when moving their eyes away from their line-of-sight, even for a moment, that can make them more prone to accidents – or worse, ambush.

Not surprisingly, more police departments are turning to technology to help alleviate the paperwork burden on their officers. A recent article in StateTech highlights how large police departments are responding to the paperwork overload. According to the article, Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti recently endorsed a plan to reduce the time officers spend on administrative tasks like incident reporting through IT upgrades and new technology.

This strategy, of adopting technologies in policing not only helps departments improve the safety of their officers, but also the citizens within their communities. Less time on reporting means more officers on the streets patrolling and protecting. Modernizing with new police reporting solutions can go a long way in accomplishing these goals.

Improve Police Reporting

Discover how to make incident reporting safer, faster, safer and more complete – by voice.

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Make time to understand your customers’ needs

Selling a solution is the easy part, but dedicating the time to build strong relationships, where you understand both the problems your customers are looking to solve and those of their own clients and community, can mean the difference between their success and your own. It’s this client-first thinking that is more important than ever today.
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We spend a lot of time speaking to our customers, trying to understand the problems they are looking to solve, from obstacles they may face as a result of heavy reporting demands, issues surrounding employee burnout, to the impact of inefficiencies in their documentation workflows. Listening to customers carefully can help us work with them to solve these problems, but it can’t stop there. We also need to understand and learn about the issues they face with their own clients and communities to be the most effective.

It’s this client-first thinking that is more important than ever today. Selling technology is the easy part, but, as solutions continue to evolve, it can become far too easy to get lost in features and functionality.  Talking about how speech recognition can help speed document turnaround by 3x or improve reporting accuracy is necessary; however, it’s discussions that center around how technology can help customers build and nurture relationships with their own clients and community that have the most impact.

This crystallized for me recently during a discussion I overheard between a police officer from one of our local police departments and some of my colleagues’ children, who were all visiting our Burlington HQ for a “bring your kids to work” day. We had a cruiser out in the parking lot loaded with our Dragon Law Enforcement solution. The officer spent some time showing the kids how to look up a license plate by voice. He also dictated a report, and yes, the kids even got to jump into the back of the cruiser and turn on the lights.

When the kids asked him, “what was the best thing about using our software,” the answer had nothing to do with the product features he had just demonstrated. He said the best thing was that our technology helped him catch “the bad guys.” For him, being able to create reports faster and more accurately meant his cases wouldn’t get overturned during court proceedings and he could get back on the street to protect his community.

That same thinking was also reflected in a recent survey of financial advisors. Survey respondents said that the automated tools that could help them the most were the ones that empowered them to spend time mastering “soft-skills” like communication and time-management and better serve their clients.

Understanding the problems your customers are looking to solve and those of their own clients and community can mean the difference between their success and your own.

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Summer-proof productivity and go mobile

Enterprise mobility has changed the business world, making productivity more attainable. Even so, staying productive can be a tough balancing act, especially during the summer months. For industries that rely heavily on connectivity outside of the office, powerful new mobile tools make it easier to work away from the desktop; something that can come in handy during the summer months, when we all want to spend some time away.
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Mobile usage changes when it gets warmer; as an example, smartphone usage spikes by 2x when the weather heats up. Let’s face it, during the summer months, when many of us start thinking about spending quality time with friends and family, being productive can become a difficult balancing act.  Fortunately, there are new, powerful mobile tools that make it easier to work anytime and from anywhere, and more importantly, can give us back valuable time.

As mobile usage continues to trend upward, more organizations are embracing solutions to empower their employees to work outside of the office, out in the field, or keep them connected wherever their jobs take them.  Not surprisingly, worldwide spending on mobility solutions for the enterprise exceeded $1.6 Trillion worldwide last year and is predicted to continue to grow.

The ability to work away from the office doesn’t just benefit individuals trying to escape their desks. It’s also benefitting organizations such as police departments.

Police officers, for example, often find themselves busier during the summer. In fact, data suggests that there is a direct connection between higher crime rates and warmer weather, according to  Drexel University researchers who found as temperatures increased so too did rates of crimes.

This means even more reporting for police officers, who already spend upwards of 3 to 4 hours per shift on reporting. Because they are required to document each incident, summer months can have many officers buried in even more paperwork. To combat heavy reporting demands, more and more law enforcement agencies are beginning to pair speech recognition software with in-vehicle laptops to enable officers to keep up with incident reports and become more efficient while out in the field.

The legal industry is another great example of a group of professionals who need to manage productivity with effective time management. Like police officers, lawyers also need to accurately capture client notes and document other case matter to support legal proceedings, oftentimes away from the office, and in real-time. With new mobile dictation apps like Dragon Anywhere, they can simply dictate notes on their mobile phone and share it with staff, even if they’re relaxing on a beach.

As the summer approaches and we all start thinking about spending quality time away from work, there’s no reason to fret or forfeit vacation. With anytime, anywhere access, mobile tools can keep us more productive – and hopefully, give us all back some much-needed time to relax.

 

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What’s your documentation problem?

While the root of all documentation problems can’t be solved with speech recognition technology alone, it can go a long way to help improve business outcomes, from productivity, efficiency and costs, to reducing paperwork burnout.
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For decades, Nuance has led the charge towards conversational AI with our voice and language innovations. We began this long journey with the introduction of Dragon speech recognition, the first software system that intelligently transcribed words into text. Today, while we don’t anticipate our solutions will completely replace manual documentation processes, they can certainly help solve some of the problems associated with them.

Financial Services is a great example. With an increased focus on new regulations and governance, a client-base that is turning to automated tools like robo-advisors, to just the simple increase in time and costs of administrative tasks like paperwork, financial firms seek new solutions to work better and compete in a changing marketplace.

More financial advisors, for example, are using speech recognition technology to document client interactions faster and more accurately, and with greater specificity, all in their quest to mitigate compliance risk and improve efficiency. Add in the need to deliver better service with more agile tools – ones that help refocus time back to clients, and voice and language solutions fit the bill.

Law enforcement is another example. Officers, who are required to document details of each incident, are mired in reporting deadlines. Oftentimes, this means they are filing incident reports at the station, while on patrol or after-hours. None of these scenarios are ideal for police work and can cause a host of problems: sitting at a desk means less time spent within the community; being heads-down in the patrol vehicle is a risk of an accident, or worse, ambush; and after-hours reporting eats away at personal time and increases burnout.

Here too, speech recognition can take away the distractions associated with heavy reporting and documentation requirements. Hundreds of departments now use powerful new police reporting tools to create faster and more complete incident reports, while also improving officer safety and community visibility.

While the root of all documentation problems can’t be solved with speech recognition technology alone, it can go a long way to help solve the ones associated with manual processes – from improving productivity and efficiency, increasing community visibility and customer service, to reducing paperwork and burnout.

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Dragon notes from 2019 FINRA Conference

The 2019 FINRA annual conference in Washington, DC this past month is the place to network, listen and learn about the latest in financial regulation and industry best-practices. The Nuance Dragon team shared some key insights with attendees on the exhibit hall floor and discussed the results of our 2019 Role of Technology in Financial Documentation survey.
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For a second year, we exhibited at the 2019 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) conference this past month.  The organization’s annual conference is an opportunity for professionals working in financial services to network, keep abreast of the latest trends in financial technology (FinTech), as well as learn about proposed rulings and best practices.

One panel discussion particularly of interest, Effective Documentation Practices for Financial Advisors, addressed the work my team and I engage in daily; helping individual professionals and organizations leverage smart-tools to drive productivity, maintain compliance, and improve customer engagement.

In addition to familiar themes FINRA addresses about compliance, such as the importance of capturing required information, disclosures, and forms to onboard new clients, the panel also spoke of documenting in real-time to capture more detailed reporting, and the importance of ensuring client/advisor communications take place through firm-approved platforms.

These themes all resonate with us, as evidenced by the results of our Role of Technology in Financial Documentation survey, which was administered to over 63,000 financial professionals.  The survey tracks how financial advisors are using automated solutions to improve how they work.

One key finding from our survey that mirrors the discussions we conducted on the exhibit hall floor: financial advisors see that the use of automated tools will help them address back-office tasks like compliance, which FINRA primarily focuses on, but also customer-facing activities, such as client service. I invite you to download the infographic to learn more.

Participating at conferences such as 2019 FINRA always reminds me of the great opportunity for my team and I to listen, learn and share.

Role of Tech in Financial Services

Read the full results of the Nuance Dragon Role of Technology in Financial Documentation Compliance Survey.

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Survey finds financial advisors want automated tools

Results from the second annual Nuance Dragon Role of Technology in Financial Documentation Compliance survey finds financial advisors seek new AI-based tools to help bolster compliance, productivity, and client service.
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The results of a national survey of financial services professionals find that financial advisors continue to seek automated tools to help meet documentation, compliance, and client service goals. The survey findings, which are not surprising to us, indicate that as advisors continue to be burdened with administrative duties, like heavy documentation, they want better tools to help manage their jobs, and improve client care.

In fact, 88% of respondents participating in our survey indicated that mastering “soft skills” like communication and time-management will become even more important to productivity than technology knowledge of financial products.

The 2nd annual Role of Technology in Financial Documentation Compliance Survey, which was deployed to more than 63,000 financial service professionals, with the majority from large firms housing over 500 employees, confirms what we continue to hear from our customers –  tools that alleviate administrative tasks, like paperwork, can help professionals focus their time on other skills that will build better client relationships.

Other interesting findings include:

  • 57% say they need to adopt innovative new tools to stay competitive, compliant and meet the changing needs of clients
  • 39% percent of those surveyed say that the use of automated tools could improve both customer-facing and back-office tasks within their firms
  • Nearly half of respondents remain neutral or not satisfied with their firms use of automation technology
  • 58% believe digital automation has the potential to free them from mundane tasks and improve client service
  • Close to 40% say their documentation workloads have increased due to compliance demands over the past year

As in other document-intensive industries, trying to strike a balance between generating the required documentation needed to meet regulatory and business needs, with superior client service – all while not becoming overwhelmed with paperwork, is a struggle that many professionals face.

You can read the results the Role of Technology in Financial Documentation Compliance survey here.

As digital transformation continues to shape the future of industries like financial services, it’s becoming even more important for organizations to embrace tools to help automate tasks, like the heavy volume of documentation, all with the goal of improving client care.

Role of Tech in Financial Services

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Improving compliance and client service in the era of digital transformation

The financial services industry is immersed in digital transformation – so much so that “fintech” has emerged as a common term among its professionals. As firms and advisors embrace new technology, it’s becoming even more important to use these tools to manage both back office tasks like documentation and compliance, with front-of-the house activities, such as improving client service.
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In a recent blog, I discussed how the financial services industry needs to rise to face the challenge of digital transformation, all while trying to remain competitive, maintain compliance and improve the customer experience.  During a recent meeting with my team, this topic came up again.

We met to discuss our presence at the upcoming 2019 FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Conference, whose members meet annually to address topics centering around regulations within the industry. While FINRA addresses back-office tasks, like how to improve compliance, embracing digital innovation can also help support front-end activities too, like customer engagement; those “soft-skills” advisors need to develop, such as communication, that will add more value to their services.

Technology can play an important role in compliance, especially when it comes to producing accurate and detailed documentation. But in many instances, time spent creating documents and handling day-to-day administration tasks is time away from clients—impeding financial professionals from cultivating the client/advisor relationship. In fact, a recent study found that 89% of financial services professionals say that heavy documentation demands limit the amount of valuable “face time” with clients.

New voice and language solutions, like speech recognition, are just one of the many tools financial advisors have embraced to improve efficiency. The ability to document three times faster by voice allows more time to focus on what matters most – building strong client relationships, so they can deliver better, more personalized service.

If you are planning to attend the 2019 FINRA Conference, May 15-17, 2019 in Washington, D.C, we will be demonstrating the ways hundreds of financial services firms are leveraging speech recognition today. Visit here to learn more.

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Turning time-savings into professional and personal satisfaction

While the measurement of time is defined by what a clock reads, the benefits of time-savings go well beyond this, from improved employee productivity, efficiency across the organization, cost savings, to happier and more satisfied employees.
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The history of time-keeping dates back thousands of years, with the Egyptians eventually dividing the day into 12-hour periods. Since then, methods of tracking time have evolved from using tools like the hourglass to mechanical clocks and smartwatches. Regardless of the device, the measurement of time is important and saving it even more so.

Whether it’s saving time so you can devote more of it to friends and family, or improving productivity to work more efficiently, time is one of our most precious commodities, and none of us want to waste it. For organizations, wasted time is money, but even more importantly, it can impact other areas of the enterprise – from inefficiencies across the business, a drain on employee productivity, or worse, employee burnout.

It’s this focus on time-savings that has us speaking with many industry professionals, especially when it comes to their documentation and workflow needs. They seek powerful new tools, like our speech recognition solutions, to help increase productivity. And these time-savings mean they can give their employees back time – more time to focus on clients, customers, or out within the community.

Time savings also correlates to improved on-the-job satisfaction, especially for those professionals who have heavy reporting or documentation demands, like police officers who are filing hundreds of police incident reports a week, or physicians who can spend 2 hours on documentation for every 1 hour of direct patient care. The list can go on and on.

While the measurement of time is defined by what a clock reads, the benefits of time-savings go well beyond this, from improved employee productivity, efficiency across the organization, cost savings, to happier and more satisfied employees.

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Impact of innovation within law firms

As new legal technologies become more readily available, and client expectations continue to rise, delivering excellent service will require law firms to adopt new processes and solutions – fast. Automating business processes within legal can go a long way to help improve practice productivity, service and costs; innovation that clients today not only want but expect.
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Like many industries, technology is heavily influencing the way law firms conduct business. Today, the expectation for legal professionals is that they want to use innovative tools to help them work faster and smarter, work from anywhere, and have information readily available. The pace of innovation has not only heightened the expectations of law firms and its workforce, but also those of their clients.

As the pace of legal innovation ramps up within the industry, so too does the need to improve the caliber of client service with the help of new technologies. For some law firms, this means creating their own innovation departments, fostering a culture of innovation, or differentiating themselves from competitors as thought leaders on the topic.

It’s not surprising that more and more firms are turning to digital tools to steer them towards innovative approaches to meet their clients’ needs and automate business processes. Legal tech spending hit $1 billion last year, with lawyers embracing new tools like case management software such as eDiscovery, now mandated in some states; the use of AI-based solutions to automate processes like patent tracking; and extending services like live video-streaming to better connect with clients.

Another way law firms are using innovative tools to automate processes is with the use of new documentation workflow solutions, ones that can better help streamline legal documentation. These tools can help eliminate transcription bottlenecks, remove manual steps such as entering data into case management systems, and help to accurately and efficiently create legal documents, all by voice.

As technology continues to change client expectations, legal professionals need to become more efficient in their delivery of services. Automating business processes within law firms can go a long way to help to improve practice productivity, costs, as well as the flow of information to and from clients; innovation that clients not only want but expect.

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Don’t’ let paperwork become an obstacle for your employees

Remove documentation obstacles and help employees improve productivity and efficiency, while refocusing them back to what matters most – meeting the needs of their clients, customers, and community, and give them back valuable time.
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In an earlier blog, I wrote about how relying on manual documentation alone is error-prone, can be inefficient, and costly. There are many other obstacles to manual documentation processes, but for this blog, I want to focus on one area most often addressed by our customers – paperwork burnout.

According to a recent study, many employees, especially those who are highly engaged in their work, are also exhausted.  Job frustrations can range from being overworked, feelings associated with lack of growth potential, to the everyday mundane, like attending too many meetings.

While there are other reasons, and underlying causes of on-the-job frustration, one that we encounter most often with our customers, from police officers, financial advisors, legal pros to physicians, are those associated with too much paperwork. The administrative burden on these professionals is extremely high, and in some instances, documentation tasks alone can consume up to 50% of their workday.

Documentation overload is nothing new, but the way it is being addressed today, especially in the age of digital transformation, is certainly different. Powerful, new documentation productivity and workflow solutions are helping to push documentation obstacles out of the way.

Police officers, who can spend 3-4 hours on incident reporting daily, are now using new police reporting tools to create reports faster and more efficiently, by voice. And, because they spend less time on paperwork, they spend more doing what they got into law enforcement to do in the first place; protect and serve their communities.

Financial advisors too, who face their own documentation obstacles, especially those associated with heightened regulatory compliance and governance, are now better able to reduce both the time and costs associated with financial documentation. By using digital tools to automate processes, they can better manage the flow of information to and from their clients; creating a better customer experience that can only help support the growth of their business.

While new solutions can’t eliminate all paperwork or end on-the-job frustrations, they can help improve productivity, efficiency, and refocus staff back to what matters most – meeting the needs of their clients, customers, and community. This can go a long way in giving employees back valuable time, which ultimately, can help reduce at least one issue many associate to burnout- paperwork.

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New reporting tools help improve officer safety

As more police agencies begin to embrace solutions like voice recognition technologies, they will likely not only find an increase in efficiency but also officer safety, especially when it comes to completing police incident reports.
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On any given week, my team and I are meeting with police chiefs and officers from large to small departments around the country. Of the many issues we discuss, one that always comes up is how can new policing tools help them improve officer safety.

According to law enforcement, one of the most vulnerable times for an officer is when he or she is heads-down in the patrol car, for instance, in situations where they are stationary and working on incident reports. Moving their eyes away from their line-of-sight, even for a moment, can make them more prone to accidents – or worse, ambush.

While officers are taught many tactical moves when it comes to safety, specifically as it relates to situational awareness, from using Jeff Cooper’s Color Code, which breaks down situational awareness into four levels of increased alertness, to recognizing patterns of behavior, many of these tactics do not address manual reporting, which keeps officers heads down in the patrol vehicle.

As more departments look to technology to help with policing, a new crop of reporting tools work to help officers investigate crimes, document encounters, and look up records, all while keeping them safer.

From police incident reporting software that empowers officers  to use their voice to complete reports and look up license plates, to virtual tools that enable them to virtually follow and catch up with suspects at a safer pace, these all work to help protect them while they are on the road: the most common and most dangerous part of their day.

Law enforcement professionals spend a significant portion of their workday completing incident reports. This not only decreases their time available to interact with citizens in the community and their ability to conduct higher-value police work, but in many instances, keeps them too focused on paperwork versus policing.

As more police agencies begin to embrace solutions like voice recognition technologies, they will likely not only find an increase in efficiency but also officer safety, especially when it comes to completing police incident reports.

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The sprint towards enterprise mobility

The sprint to go mobile isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Organizations need to tap into intuitive mobile tools to improve their business processes, client service and customer care, as well as employee productivity and satisfaction.
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The sprint towards enterprise mobility is gaining traction, and for companies to stay relevant they need to keep up. From a tech-savvy client base, a younger workforce, demand for anytime, anywhere access, to a growing need for collaborative and agile tools, today, organizations must adapt and change the way they do business, especially those with heavy reporting and documentation demands.

Now, more than ever, it’s not surprising to see professionals start their work in one location and complete it in another. And the need for seamless access across devices is growing. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), mobile solution spending exceeded $1.6 Trillion worldwide last year, with the U.S. accounting for approximately 20% of this spend.

A new grouping of powerful mobile documentation tools, cloud-sharing apps, and more robust reporting solutions means employees, especially those who often work outside the office or away from their desks, can create, collaborate and share their work– all in real-time, and from any location.

This collaboration goes well beyond improving access to information. For industries who rely heavily on real-time reporting, for instance, being able to document in-the-moment benefits greatly from mobility.

Law Enforcement is a prime example. Officers spend countless hours each day on reporting, most often having to capture notes after each incident. With the ability to use mobile tools, they can dictate a report narrative, capturing the immediacy and specificity of an incident, without the need to recall details from hours before or decipher hand-written notes hours later.

Physicians too, who are also consumed by heavy, real-time note-taking, benefit from cloud-based, mobile documentation solutions. According to industry data, physicians can spend nearly 2 hours documenting medical notes within the EHR (Electronic Health Record) and on administrative “desk” work for every 1 hour of direct patient care.

Couple the ability to complete reports and other notes in real-time with being able to cut down on after-hours paperwork, and professionals are experiencing both an increase in productivity, as well a reduction in administrative burnout as a result.

The sprint to go mobile isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Organizations need to tap into these intuitive mobile tools to improve their businesses processes, client service and customer care, as well as employee productivity and satisfaction.

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Give your mobile workforce the power to get paperwork and other documentation done wherever their job takes them, with Dragon Anywhere Group, the cloud-based professional-grade mobile dictation solution for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets

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Similarities in reporting trends across industries

Alleviating the paperwork burden can help professionals improve reporting and overall productivity, maintain compliance, and shift focus back to what matters most – serving their communities, clients and customers, and eliminate the need for afterhours reporting.
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As we do most months, my team and I attend trade events for a variety of industries. One week could have us speaking about improving compliance at a conference for financial advisors, the next demonstrating our solutions to legal pros, and another talking improving incident reporting with law enforcement.

During these information gathering sessions, we often ask the same question – what problem are you looking to solve? The top answer, regardless of title, department or even when wearing a shield, continues to be similar; I’m spending too much time on paperwork – filling out forms, completing reports or responding to general correspondence.

The paperwork burden on professionals is extremely high, with many reporting nearly 50% of an average workday consumed by documentation. And for all the talk of digital transformation, many organizations still rely on timely, less accurate input methods – namely, manual documentation, to get paperwork done.

These documentation hardships impact all areas of a business and can produce inefficiencies across an organization – from a decrease in productivity and increased costs, reporting inaccuracies and noncompliance, and in some cases, employee burnout, or to the very extreme, officer safety.

Documentation challenges facing these and other professionals mirror the results of a recent national survey, which found that 89% of financial advisors say they struggle with heavy documentation demands because of increased regulations and governance within their industry.

Physicians are another example of a workgroup impacted by paperwork burnout. According to industry survey data, physicians spend nearly 2 hours documenting medical notes within the EHR (Electronic Health Record) and on administrative “desk” work for every 1 hour of direct patient care.  Couple this with heavy workloads and unreasonable time pressures on the job, and it’s a combustible mix with paperwork at the center.

The news is not all grim. With today’s powerful documentation solutions, as just one example, paperwork can get done faster and smarter, and add mobile to the mix, at any time and from any location. With new documentation workflow solutions, professionals no longer need to sit behind a desk completing paperwork, or worse, finishing it up after hours.

Organizations that benefit from digital documentation tools also produce more accurate and compliant reports, and for professions whose outcomes are based on the details captured within reporting (think compliance in financial services; incident reporting in law enforcement; case matter for the legal industry; to medical records management in healthcare), being able to document with more specificity is a must.

When all is said and done, alleviating the paperwork burden on professionals can further help them focus their time back to what matters most – serving their communities, clients and customers, and with less time spent completing reports after hours, they can spend more time with family and friends; similarities that all industries can embrace.

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Embracing digital tools to remain competitive

Whatever your business objectives or industry, today, in order to grow and remain competitive and relevant, you need to embrace digital tools.
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There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not reading about how one industry or another is being transformed by new technologies.  While many organizations are researching or tapping into new digital tools, there are still countless others who have yet to embrace them, especially within areas of their business with large investments of resources and time, like documentation.

The fact remains, today, that driving efficiency and a better customer experience has some form of digital transformation at the helm, and if you’ve yet to capitalize on new technologies, you can’t stay competitive. Not surprisingly, projections of worldwide spend in this area are anticipated to reach nearly $2 trillion by 2022.

Financial advisors, for instance, are competing with the growing popularity of online investment advice platforms like robo-advisors, while also combatting ways to stay relevant, especially with a younger, more tech-savvy client base. If they want to propel themselves forward, they need to use technology tools in financial services to become more efficient and also enhance their client service.

Legal is another example of an industry that is shifting more and more each year towards digital technology. This profession, which is highly document-based, is using tools like customized legal speech recognition solutions to help them create and manage legal documentation, giving lawyers tremendous flexibility to capture and distribute accurate data within case management systems, and even more importantly, return that time back to client service.

When it comes to embracing digital transformation, it can only help to benefit your business – from improved efficiency, productivity, to a better client experience.

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Financial Services need to meet the challenge of digital transformation

In the new era of digital transformation, financial advisors face a changing landscape, and disruptors from robo advisors to regulations not only impact the way they interact with clients, but also how they manage back of the house tasks, like documentation.
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It’s no secret that the era of digital transformation is changing the way organizations across industries operate on a day-to-day basis. That being said, a lot of emphasis gets placed on technologies that will attract and retain customers, often at the expense of improving infrastructure in the back of the house.

Financial advisors know all too well that the landscape is changing. New solutions powered by artificial intelligence like robo-advisors promise to disrupt the market. Adoption rates of digital tools continue to surge in this industry as AI and automation increase competition, while legacy systems and outdated processes hinder productivity behind the scenes.

Add other disrupters, like the growing pressure to keep up with regulations, with advisors facing an ongoing challenge to balance client service and compliance, especially when it comes to financial documentation. In fact, according to a recent national survey of financial advisors, more than three hours a day is spent on documentation alone – this means time taking away client face time to write financial plans, regulatory filings or other paperwork.

The challenge is finding the right tools to enhance customer-facing services while driving workflow efficiencies. Automated solutions like voice-powered technologies successfully strike a balance in these areas. Using speech recognition solutions, advisors are better able to streamline documentation processes and create detailed client notes, plans and reports exponentially faster and more accurately than by manually typing.

What’s more, improved accuracy lends itself to compliance adherence – a goal all advisors strive to meet. This surge in productivity and efficiency enables financial firms to have confidence in what they create, knowing they are strengthening not only the reputation of their work and their firm, but also improving client services by building on a foundation of trust.

In the new era of digital transformation, financial advisors need new solutions that help them manage not only the front-end of the house like client service, but also back-end day-day tasks, like documentation.

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Why Daylight Savings Time has me thinking of documentation productivity

While money can’t buy back time, an investment towards the right digital tools can certainly help save it. For the document-intensive industries we work with, from financial services, legal to law enforcement, time IS money, which means they’re always searching for ways to gain efficiencies and improve productivity.
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Like everyone this past weekend, I switched my clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time, which, if you didn’t know, started in the early 1900s to conserve energy. For me, this got me thinking about gaining an hour of time during the day, but also losing an hour of sleep. Which then got me thinking about something I always think about – how can I help our customers optimize their time.

The value people and organizations alike place towards time, often over other things, material or otherwise, is interesting.  A pew survey conducted a few years back actually indicated that most individuals would rather have more time than money. This is probably nothing new to those juggling work, family and other priorities.

While money can’t buy back time, an investment towards the right digital tools can certainly help save it. For the document-intensive industries we work with, from financial services, legal to law enforcement, time IS money, which means they’re always searching for ways to gain efficiencies and improve productivity.

There is good news for these and other organizations, with countless documentation productivity and workflow solutions available to help professionals within these industries, who can spend upwards of 50% of their workday on paperwork, improve documentation and time management.

And this time savings correlates to other important outcomes well beyond cost savings: for law enforcement, less time spent on paperwork means more time within our communities; for financial services, shifting away from heavy documentation means more focus on managing clients’ short-term and long-term financial goals; and for legal, less time spent on case management and other legal documentation is more time placed towards client service.

Whichever way you plan on spending that extra hour of daylight on, hopefully, it won’t be consumed by paperwork.

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Tackling documentation overload in case management

Caseworkers spend long hours coordinating the delivery of critical services across a vast social services network of private, public, not-for-profit and philanthropic organizations. Navigating this web of often disparate services successfully and turning information into an effective care plan generates a mountain of documentation. New mobile tools can help.
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On any given day, the work of a social services caseworker can involve navigating state and federal bureaucracies, interacting with the courts, advocating for services on behalf of clients, to helping families in crisis coordinate access to care across a myriad of private and public sector organizations. This produces an immense amount of information that must be accurately documented and efficiently moved across disparate organizations and platforms.

It’s not surprising that the demand for tools to help with case management is growing, with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) even providing uniform technology standards to help guide caseworkers in their daily use of technology.

It’s at this juncture, where technology – including smart tools like professional grade mobile dictation apps – can help caseworkers capture, distribute and share information into an auditable service care plan. Here’s how.

They help manage communication more effectively

Whether documenting client assessments, creating routine visit reports, sending emails, completing forms, or applying for programs on behalf of clients, caseworkers need to create, manage, and share documentation, in the office or out in the field.  These mobile documentation tools enable dictation on smartphones or tablets, which can then be easily transferred to other applications – be it Microsoft Word, an e-mail document or even a text-box within a web-form.  Caseworkers can make better use of their time, and, also share information across a variety of platforms or applications and, ultimately, spend more time working with clients.

They help reduce time spent on paperwork

Business professionals can spend upwards of 50% of an average workday on paperwork. For caseworkers, this includes a variety of forms and other mandated documentation.  Much of this results from piecing together care plans from disparate social resources – yet these loosely connected organizations often seek the same information, sometimes repeatedly.  Smart mobile tools, like speech recognition solutions, can help boost productivity by allowing them to navigate and fill in forms by voice in real-time.  In addition, frequently used blocks of text – like a client assessment template – can be imported from the agency’s case management system and invoked by speaking a single utterance like “insert client assessment,” further reducing time spent on paperwork, while helping to ensure consistent client documentation is produced.

 

They provide real-time access to information in the field

By definition, caseworkers spend much of their time in the field assisting clients – yet are very much connected to the home office.  Documentation started in the office on a desktop computer might need to be completed in the field on a tablet or vice-versa.   In addition, because caseworkers create, access and store documentation across a spectrum of online systems and services, it is beneficial to have as much documentation in as few places as possible.  They may also maintain supporting documentation in cloud platforms like Dropbox, Evernote or OneDrive.   Today’s smart mobile dictation tools help caseworkers seamlessly synchronize work and make it accessible anytime and from anywhere.

 

They enable agency-wide dissemination of documentation standards

Ensuring documents like a client intake form are up-to-date and includes fields to capture the most current legally mandated information is critical.  Professional grade mobile dictation solutions allow form-based templates to be created in a few steps and then disseminated throughout the agency with a mouse-click.  Distributing critical documentation this way via a centralized management platform ensures version control, and the forms can be invoked by simply speaking a command like “insert agency disclosure #23”.

Mobile documentation tools accomplish more than just speeding documentation– they help improve documentation accuracy and efficiency, ensure clients receive the services they need across the social services ecosystem and can reduce paperwork burnout.

Drive mobile documentation productivity

Give your mobile workforce the power to get paperwork and other documentation done wherever their job takes them, with Dragon Anywhere Group, the cloud-based professional-grade mobile dictation solution for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

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Documentation and enterprise mobility

With more workgroups shifting towards mobile, and more and more millennials entering the workplace, enterprise mobility is becoming a must-have for business. It’s for these, and other reasons, why organizations need to adjust their documentation workflows to account for a workforce that is on the move.
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With professionals increasingly on the move and many more working outside the office, it’s not surprising that documentation tasks, once relegated to desktop computing, are moving to mobile devices. Today, thanks to powerful new mobility solutions, like professional-grade documentation apps, it’s not only becoming easier, but also a growing necessity, to empower employees with the ability to create, manage and share their work across devices.

Document management workflows are a moving target

Enterprise mobility is a must-have for business. According to IDC, by 2020 mobile workers will account for nearly three-quarters of the U.S. workforce, with millennials making up 75% of these workgroups by 2025; individuals who grew up with mobile devices as their main content creation and aggregation source.

For these individuals, and for field workers who often work outside the office, being able to perform their jobs, no matter where they are, is paramount. Creating documents, filling out forms and completing other paperwork is a huge productivity booster, and being able to send this documentation from the field to meet critical deadlines is imperative.

Law enforcement is a prime example. Officers spend a large portion of their day patrolling our communities. Regardless of the hours spent on patrol, they still have large documentation deadlines to meet. Every incident needs to be chronicled in detail within reports, many of which are required to meet prosecutor deadlines to move criminal proceedings along.

Arming these workers with mobility solutions, whether it’s a faster and safer way to complete police incident reports within their vehicles using in-car documentation tools, or with mobile apps that tie back to their records management systems, not only makes their reporting more efficient, but gives them back time to patrol our streets.

Enterprises need to adjust their documentation workflows to account for mobility

Organizations need to support documentation workflows across devices. On any given day, work may take an employee from the office, to a meeting, out visiting clients, or collaborating with business partners. As a result, documentation, in any form, is often a “work in progress”; it’s started in one location and oftentimes completed throughout the day in another. Documentation management challenges, when mobility isn’t factored in, can stand in the way of smooth, continuous productivity, report accuracy and overall efficiencies across the enterprise.

Mobile documentation solutions and cloud-based sharing apps make this process easy and seamless, with the ability to access, share and complete documents from any location.

It’s evident: combining mobile tools with powerful features that enable seamless access across devices is a move that enterprises need to make.

Drive mobile documentation productivity

Give your mobile workforce the power to get paperwork and other documentation done wherever their job takes them, with Dragon Anywhere Group, the cloud-based professional-grade mobile dictation solution for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets

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Thriving in an era of legal automation

Like their counterparts in other industries, the legal profession has been transformed by technological innovation. In an environment where managing costs, while also maximizing an attorney’s most valuable resource, time, it’s imperative for firms to embrace new automated tools to thrive.
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One of the advantages of my role at Nuance is hearing from customers about how our solutions help them navigate changing dynamics within their industries.  I was reminded of this recently from my sales team; they were discussing how our documentation and productivity solutions are helping many of our law firm clients improve legal documentation processes.

Like their counterparts in other industries, the legal profession has been transformed by technological innovation – from cloud-computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, to automation of legal workflows; all having a large impact on their traditional business and staffing models.

Automating routine processes like legal discovery, billing and even onboarding of new clients is becoming increasingly common as pressure on the traditional “billable hours” business model has migrated some legal services to flat fees.  In this environment, managing cost, while maximizing an attorneys’ most valuable resource – time – is imperative for firms to thrive.

Fortunately, the same innovation that has disrupted some traditional business models is creating new opportunities.

Many of our clients are in the process of enterprise-wide implementation of both our speech recognition and documentation workflow solutions to help not only with the creation of documents and briefs, but also the routing of them via a rules-based system.   In combination, they are also looking at ways to equip attorney’s with “anytime anywhere” mobile dictation tools, with the goal to reduce costs, increase attorney productivity, and drive client service.

We continue to see the impact of automation, specifically as it relates to legal documentation, as evidenced in the recent 2018 International Legal Technology Association’s (ILTA) annual survey, where our solutions were named as leading tech tools for the legal sector. The ILTA survey also highlights the depth and breadth of the need for technology within legal, with almost one-third of firms (those with 700 or more attorneys) indicating that they use solutions, like digital dictation to prepare documentation.

If the past is a prelude to the future, we can expect the trend of automation to continue, especially in the case of industries like legal, that rely on creating accurate documentation and moving it in an efficient way.

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The documentation workflow challenge

Heavy documentation demands and inefficient workflows can impact business, from inconsistent and inaccurate reporting, a risk to compliance, to employee productivity and costs. Improve outcomes and replace manual and disconnected documentation processes with automated workflows.
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What is a documentation workflow and why is it important? In simplistic terms, it’s the systems businesses use to create, track, edit and manage the paperwork they produce day to day, and any inefficiencies, inaccuracies or gaps in this process can have a negative impact.

The legacy to project management and modern-day workflows, as we know it today, actually dates back to the early 1900s and a mechanical engineer by the name of Henry Laurence Gantt. His development of the Gantt chart, which is still accepted as an important management tool, as well as his 1919 book “Organizing for Work,” which outlines principles that look at both the amount of time and activity required to complete tasks, remains relevant.

Today, solving for inefficient and inaccurate documentation is no easy task, yet for many organizations, the need to manage the flow of information within documentation, whether in paper or digital form, can go a long way in improving compliance, productivity, and efficiencies. And in the age of digital transformation, with new documentation workflow solutions at their disposal, it’s becoming easier for organizations to take complex processes and simplify them through automated systems.

Take an optimized documentation workflow in a law firm, as an example.  A lawyer meets with a client at an off-site meeting. Using a tablet or smartphone, he or she records detailed notes from their discussion. Once done, they send those recordings instantly to support staff back at their office for transcription or follow-up. Within the workflow, a manager monitors the status of the entire job in real-time, and if necessary, identifies and fixes any bottlenecks in the system.

Without the ability to manage documentation from points A to B, and then all the way through to point C, everything from the integrity of the information moving across different platforms, to the time and costs associated with its creation, distribution, and management, can be impacted.

Gantt, like many pioneers, recognized early the importance of organizing tasks more efficiently, and when it comes to optimizing documentation workflows, this is exactly what’s required.

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Why better documentation can help improve financial compliance

Financial advisors face unique challenges, as well as new opportunities as they work to balance compliance requirements, client service, and productivity. New tools like speech recognition can help.
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Like many industries, financial advisors face unique challenges, as highlighted in a recent article in Forbes Magazine. Whether these center around managing client expectations, maintaining the operational side of running a business, to keeping up with the growth of regulatory compliance, on-the-whole, financial advisors are working within a rapidly changing landscape.

Today, with more advisors seeking better ways to manage their business, whether that be through the use of new technology, as evidenced by the rapid growth of financial tools like Fintech (now expected to exceed 20 billion in the US alone), to keeping abreast of best-practices through industry associations like FINRA, having a compliance strategy that includes better management of financial documentation can go a long way to meeting the challenges they face. Here are three reasons why.

1. Improves client service

As regulations make their mark on the financial services industry, the need for personalized service that effectively captures the entirety of the advisor/client relationship takes on new levels of urgency.

Advisors need to accurately document conversations with clients and deliver more thorough, personalized financial plans based on those interactions. In addition, increasingly savvy consumers are asking their advisors to take a chain of custody mindset in the handling of their assets – letting them know how and where they are bought, sold, and/or transferred among various investments, all of which requires a detailed documentation trail.

Technology solutions like speech recognition can help financial advisors create more detailed documentation, 3x faster than typing – simply by speaking, and shift focus back towards client service.

2. Reduces risk and improves compliance

Best practice policies related to compliance are driving financial services firms to rethink how they can build greater transparency. For financial advisors, inaccurate and incomplete documentation is risky business. Increased regulations, where advisors need to demonstrate that they are serving as a fiduciary working within their clients’ best interests, make it important to document client interactions clearly and accurately to help mitigate risk.

When equipped with these tools, advisors can quickly capture client conversations, create detailed action plans, document disclosures and transactions, and record asset chain of custody, with both speed and accuracy – simply by speaking.

3. Improves efficiency and productivity

Countless studies, from various industries, report the time and costs associated with the business-side of paperwork are less than ideal.  Financial advisors, for instance, say that the due diligence required to meet regulatory compliance will increase their administrative workload by 63%.

Better financial documentation helps drive better business outcomes – from efficiency, higher accuracy, to saving time and costs. It’s for this very reason that advisors can’t improve productivity without taking a closer look at the paper trail within their organization.

Financial advisors face unique challenges, as well as new opportunities as they work to balance compliance requirements, client service, and productivity requirements. Speech recognition can help.

Improve financial documentation

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Dragon makes what matters

How the inspirational story of Casey Marenge, a longtime Dragon customer, who found our solution out of necessity when a vehicle accident left her with a non-reversible spinal cord injury, reminds us of our purpose – making what matters.
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Not a day goes by that my team and I don’t discuss the impact our solutions have on the day-to-day lives of the people and the industries we serve, but there comes a time when a customer’s story truly crystalizes this for us. Recently we experienced this first-hand after meeting with a long-time Dragon user, Casey Marenge, who shared her inspirational story.

Casey, who lives in Nairobi, Kenya, was in the Boston-area visiting family. She reached out to Nuance because she wanted to meet the people behind the solution that has helped her for the past 15-years after a vehicle accident left her with a non-reversible spinal cord injury – paralyzed from the shoulders down and in a wheelchair.

Casey came to our Burlington headquarters to meet with our product management and engineering teams, to discuss her journey, as well as demonstrate how she uses Dragon day-to-day. She also shared her amazing achievements over the years – including launching a non-governmental organization called Chariots of Destiny, whose aim is to advocate for road safety and empower persons living with disabilities, particularly spinal cord injuries.

I encourage you to take a moment out of your day to read Casey’s story. I’m confident that it will inspire you, as it did me and my team, and reminds me that we truly do make what matters.

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3 ways speech recognition helps in police incident reporting

Police paperwork is a challenge that many law enforcement professionals face, with many spending nearly 50 percent of the workday on incident reporting. This impacts several aspects of policing, including officer safety, productivity, and criminal proceedings. Speech recognition technology can help.
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Incident reporting is important in police work and helps keep investigations and cases moving along, but it can also be time-consuming. In fact, close to fifty percent of an officer’s day can be spent typing up reports or entering data into computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and records management systems (RMS), according to a recent survey. Heavy documentation can mean officers stay heads-down in their patrol cars, making them less situationally aware, or back at the station mired in paperwork.

Challenges in police paperwork are nothing new, but there is a new grouping of police reporting tools like speech recognition that can help. Here are 3 ways.

1. Improve situational awareness

When conducting tasks like license plate lookups or entering data into the CAD/RMS, an officer shifts focus from his or her surroundings and, if heads-down in the patrol car, can make them more prone to accidents – or ambush. Combine this with the poor ergonomics of having to shift and turn in the car seat to enter data into their laptops, and in-car documentation becomes less than ideal. With tools like speech recognition, officers can use their voice instead of manually typing or hunting and pecking on the computer keyboard. They stay heads-up and more focused and safer on patrol.

2. Improves specificity and accuracy within reports

According to the forgetting curve, within an hour most people only remember 50 percent of the information presented to them, and forgetfulness drops to 75 percent within 24 hours. Relying on manual documentation alone is risky. Officers, who are responding to multiple incidents each day, need to rely on memory-recall or decipher hand-written notes from hours before. Both can lead to inaccuracy and lack of specificity, which is a major concern when the outcomes of criminal proceedings are tied to the incident reports officers’ file. By dictating notes in real-time, officers can capture more detail and create a “narrative” of each incident, leading to better reporting.

3. Speeds documentation and reporting deadline

Meeting reporting deadlines is the lifeblood of police departments, and if these deadlines are not met, criminal proceedings can be stalled, or worse, abandoned. Speech recognition can help speed report turnaround times. Reports that traditionally took hours to create can be completed in minutes – simply by speaking.

Police paperwork is a challenge that many law enforcement professionals face. New police reporting tools like speech recognition technology can help

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Need for digital tools in financial services

For financial services firms, employing a digital-based strategy can help solve a myriad of challenges, from meeting compliance, improving customer service, to staying competitive. Is your firm ready for digital innovation in 2019?
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The adoption of digital tools in financial services continues to grow. From automation through tools like robo-advisors that help augment customer service, new applications backed by AI and machine learning, to the need to keep up with increased competition – whether that be from competitors or acquiring new talent, the delivery of financial information is being shaped by technology.

For financial services firms, employing a digital-based strategy, especially when it comes to the less than glamorous-side of the business, financial documentation, can help solve a myriad of challenges, from meeting compliance, improving customer service, to maintaining solid business reputations.

Compliance challenges, specifically when it comes to financial documentation, is becoming top-of-mind within the industry, as recently highlighted in a recent national survey. Thirty-seven percent of financial advisors who participated in the survey say they are spending 3 hours each day documenting the full details of their conversations with clients, all with the goal of mitigating risk and improving service by creating a chain-of-custody relative to the handling of client assets.

Whether information is moving in paper or electronic form, inaccurate and incomplete documentation is risky business in financial services and can extend well beyond the quality of a financial plan or report. Technology, for all its powerful possibilities, should be viewed as an additional asset to help advisors do their jobs better.

The advisor-client relationship, like all customer relationships, boils down to delivering a consistent and engaging customer experience that is built on trust. Adding a digital side to financial services in 2019 can only help to amplify these drivers.

Improve financial documentation compliance

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My fifteen-year journey with Dragon

In this special guest post, Casey Marenge, the Executive Director of Chariots of Destiny, an NGO that advocates for road safety and individuals with spinal cord injuries, tells the personal story of her own spinal cord injury fifteen years ago and how Dragon speech recognition empowered her and was key to her recovery and ongoing work.
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At only 21 years old, living with a disability in a developing country (Nairobi, Kenya), the chances that I would ever live a close to normal life seemed slim.

Just before I joined University, I was involved in a road crash where I sustained a spinal cord injury which left me quadriplegic – paralyzed from the shoulders down and in a wheelchair. I not only had to deal with the loss of two of my friends who were killed in the crash, but after nine months in rehabilitation, I was discharged from hospital, with the diagnosis I may never walk or use my hands again.

It was during this time while in rehab that I learned about Dragon Naturally Speaking from Nuance.

To keep myself busy, I repeatedly took every tutorial lesson in the Dragon manual. I dictated entire books and magazines into Microsoft Word and tested my patience during times when I had the flu, and Dragon might struggle to interpret what I was trying to say because my voice sounded different from the profile I had created.

After two years learning every functionality of Dragon, I was able to appreciate the magnitude of how much I could achieve with it. Determined to make the best out of my life and use my experience to inspire and empower others, I launched a non-governmental organization called the Chariots of Destiny and set out to use my story to save lives and advocate for road safety.

Empowered by the same software that I had only previously used to write out word documents, I sent emails to any road safety organization I could find online. After countless failed attempts, I finally got the opportunity to partner with the FIA Foundation which at the time was running a campaign dubbed “Make Roads Safe”.

Close to 2 months later and with over 20,000 signatures collected, all the days of speaking to a microphone – most times into the late hours of the night – were finally bearing fruit. I was invited to attend and participate at the United Nations General Assembly debate on road safety that was taking place at the UN headquarters in New York.

Other highlights of my journey included being invited as a keynote speaker to present at the first ever Global Ministerial Conference on road safety which was held in Moscow, Russia.

What started as a one-hour session of Occupational Therapy in a rehabilitation hospital years ago, all the sleepless nights and having to relearn how to use a computer by voice commands, my journey with Dragon was finally recognized.

In August 2018, one month shy of marking 15 years as a quadriplegic, I got to celebrate another milestone. I had always dreamt of one day getting the opportunity to share my story with the company that had made a huge impact in enabling me to continue with life, despite my injury and the challenges faced. I wanted to reach out with the intent to let anyone at Nuance know the kind of impact Dragon had made and was continuing to make in my life.

Visiting the corporate headquarters was surreal to say the least. I had spent hundreds of days throughout the years, wondering what my life would be like, particularly without the ability to use my hands, if it was not for Dragon.

As I went through a 10-minute demo showing the Nuance team how I use Dragon, everything felt full-circle for me. I am grateful for the opportunity to inspire others to embrace life no matter what situations or challenges one might be experiencing.

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Law firms continue to turn to technology to meet practice needs

As more shifts take place within the industry, with firms and legal professionals themselves seeking new ways to meet client objectives, improve operational efficiencies, and cultivate a new crop of younger lawyers who grew up with technology at arms’ length, driving innovation in law firms is no longer a nice-to-have.
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Innovation is no longer a buzzword in the legal industry, as more and more legal professionals look to technology to help them work. From AI-powered solutions that automate workflows, applications like e-discovery to help load and search for data, to web-based legal practice management software, as well as an increasingly tech-savvy client base, law firms seek better ways to help manage client relationships, costs, and efficiencies, with technology at the helm.

Law office productivity software,  in particular, continues to lead this charge, as recently reported in the International Legal Technology Association’s (ILTA) annual technology survey, where our documentation and productivity solutions, including speech recognition, scanning workflow, PDF editing and redacting software, continue to be among the most widely used, and sought-after solutions in law firms to manage their documentation needs. Read more here.

The ILTA survey, which draws input from 481 firms, including more than 92,000 attorneys and 188,000 users, is the largest in the legal industry, providing deep insights into the legal technology landscape and key decision factors within the profession.

ILTA’s findings are not surprising to us. For a profession that is highly document-based, tools like customized legal speech recognition  offer many benefits when it comes to creating and managing legal documentation. The ability to easily dictate or transcribe audio files gives lawyers tremendous flexibility in ensuring comprehensive and accurate data is captured and distributed within critical practice and case management systems.

As more shifts take place within the industry, with firms and legal professionals themselves seeking new ways to meet client objectives, improve operational efficiencies, and cultivate a new crop of younger lawyers who grew up with technology at arms’ length, driving innovation in law firms is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have.

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Nuance customer TorTalk develops innovative OCR-powered text-to-speech solution for dyslexics

We love hearing stories from customers who achieve success using our industry leading OCR toolkit, and we’ve got one that’s too good not to share. We met Tor Ghai at our OmniPage CSDK Developer’s Forum earlier this year in Palma de Mallorca – here’s his story.
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Nuance’s Document Imaging Division is now part of Kofax. Learn more

Approximately 6 percent of Swedes struggle with dyslexia, including Swedish software developer Tor Ghai. For most of his life, he struggled with reading comprehension as he battled his way through required textbooks. As an adult, he searched for a way to make reading easier – and even enjoyable – so that he could stay on top of the latest in software development and maybe even read for fun. After developing a program that would read text to sight-impaired people and becoming familiar with text-to-speech engines, Tor began to develop a version for dyslexics like himself.
 

Accuracy is paramount for reading

However, finding an OCR engine to work with images of text was harder than it sounded, especially when it came to pairing the OCR engine with a voice engine that would speak the text to the user. While plenty of solutions exist for both, most of the vocalizer solutions would mangle approximately 20 percent of the words on a page – not terrible if you’re only reading one page, but cumbersome if you’re trying to read along with the audio in a multi-page document or a book. Misspeaking the word could derail the user’s train of thought. And, sometimes, that missing 20 percent of information can mean the difference between understanding what you just read and being utterly confused. Additionally, most OCR products require high-quality images, which isn’t always the case in practice. Building an OCR engine was out of the question, as it would take a lot of time.

Of all the products tested, Nuance OmniPage Capture SDK and Nuance Vocalizer had the highest rates of accuracy for recognizing, processing, and speaking text. Combining the two would make it possible for TorTalk users to get the most accurate readings. While the product will sometimes miss a word, the flow is smoother for those reading along with the text.

Additionally, the Nuance OmniPage Capture SDK provides real-time OCR capabilities. In one to two seconds, TorTalk activates the SDK to process the text, then read it to the user. The user simply clicks a button, and the program starts reading the text, whether it’s a single page or an e-book.

 

Nuance support eases development

Tor wanted to ensure TorTalk would work exactly as planned. He had a lot of questions for Nuance support, probably more questions than the average developer, he admitted. However, Nuance, and our London representative in particular, was very responsive to questions and provided him with the information he needed. Tor attended the OmniPage Capture SDK Developer’s Forum in Palma de Mallorca this past May and was able to learn more about SDK and how he can develop with it, as well as network with other developers and share ideas.
 

Capturing the university market

With Nuance OmniPage Capture SDK as its OCR backbone, and Nuance Vocalizer as the text-to-speech engine, Swedish universities quickly became interested in using TorTalk for its students. Tor had originally developed TorTalk for Windows operating systems, but with universities clamoring at his door for a Mac version, he found that, with the Nuance OmniPage Capture SDK, he could just move most of the original code to a Mac solution.

Today, 75 percent of Swedish universities, including Goteborgs Universitet and Uppsala Universitet, use TorTalk for their students. In the most common case, a student will load a PDF or ebook onto a computer screen, then place the TorTalk window around the portion to be read. If it’s electronic text, the student will highlight the text and press play. The text to speech engine then reads the text to the student. The biggest value is in the accuracy and speed, which helps students regain confidence in their ability to learn – something that Tor himself felt as he used TorTalk.

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4 factors health systems need to consider when protecting PHI

When thinking of security including cybersecurity most organizations focus on their perimeter security -- to stop outside threats from entering. The reality is however, that our biggest risk is already inside from employees either through accidental or malicious attacks. Healthcare organizations must focus on internal and external threats to protect PHI.
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4 factors health systems need to consider when protecting PHI

Evolving technologies such as artificial intelligence, connected devices, and virtual assistants are continually simplifying our lives. While they simplify our lives however, they make our technological environments much more complex and difficult to manage and secure. CIO’s have the daunting task of implementing agile cybersecurity and privacy strategies to protect not just their networks but their rich customer data as well. Healthcare CIOs have an even greater burden since experts insist that the cost of a healthcare data breach is still the highest of any industry.

Interestingly, recent reports from Verizon’s 2018 Protected Health Information Data Breach Report (PHIDBR) indicate that 58% of all healthcare breaches involve insiders. This is disturbing especially when many healthcare organizations have repeatedly told us at Nuance, “our devices are only accessible by staff.” The report goes on to show that healthcare is the only industry where insider threats exceed external threats. Further to that HealthcareInfoSecurity reports that there have been 229 data breaches affecting 6.1 million individuals since the start of 2018. It’s imperative that health systems implement the right solutions and best practices to establish security for PHI.

When thinking of security including cybersecurity most organizations focus on their perimeter security — to stop outside threats from entering.  The reality is however, that our biggest risk is already inside from employees either through accidental or malicious attacks. As a result, best-in-breed healthcare systems are rethinking their security strategies including managing and monitoring what applications and devices their staff access. Printers and multi-function devices are high on the list given the recent chatter of how vulnerable they are to cyber security breaches.

Shahid Shah, Chief Technology Officer at Citus Health, Inc explained that “security teams spend a lot of their time looking at external threats because we’ve all been taught – across industries – to ensure that proper firewalls are installed, IDS’s are enabled, and that phishing is something we have to care about. What security professionals are not taught about regularly is how insiders, such as those who can escalate account privileges in their EHRs or who have access to lots of Microsoft Office documents with PHI, can be just as more dangerous.” Shah is correct.

Now to tighten their network strategies, many health systems are turning to frameworks such as HITRUST CSF to help guide their security strategies. HITRUST incorporates key elements from a multitude of standards organizations like NIST & ISO among others, in addition to regulatory statutes like HIPAA and agencies such as CMS to name just a few to provide an overarching program that provides governance over technical, administrative, business operations and human capital.

The problem however with insider threat, Shah explained further “is that they are hard to mitigate with just installation of tools – we have to consider all the different ways privileged staff can do damage. While almost any security professional can help with general externally facing threats, we need to train special healthcare security professionals focused on medical, administrative, and clinical workflows that general security personnel cannot catch. If you’re not spending at least 1/3rd of your time and budget on protecting from insider threats, you’re probably more susceptible than you could be.”

 

Along with the right strategy and frameworks here are 4 factors health systems need to implement when protecting PHI:

 

Control access across devices

One of the key elements of being able to secure information and the network begins with access controls at the device level. There are many solutions in the market that can provide access controls at an individual function level, like print or scan or fax or copy or maybe a combination of 2 or 3. However healthcare organizations need solutions that control and manage access at the device level across all functions.

 

Custom and personalized authorization

 Healthcare systems need to implement solutions that are not only able to control and manage access to functions of an MFP, but also provide another unique capability such as custom and personalized authorization. Based on a user’s profile and the policies of the organizations, solutions must be able to authorize a user’s access to some or all of the functions of the device. For example, some users may only be allowed to make copies. Others may be able to make copies and pick up print, but not able to scan or fax information.

 

Mandatory Document Encryption

Health systems must be able to manage the all printed, scanned and faxed documents. These documents hide a wealth of patient information that needs to be protected from deliberate or accidental exposure.  Employing solutions that ensure these documents are properly encrypted, recorded for audits, inspected for content restrictions, retained for legal review, and prevented from being sent to undesirable or unintended destinations is critical.

 

Security and Usability Balance

The best security is a balance between protection and usability. At Nuance we’ve focused on providing an enterprise platform that can secure and optimize document workflows, but in a way that’s also intuitive, flexible and easy to adopt for end users. Change management in healthcare is critical and being able to deploy a solution that accomplishes the technical, administrative and operational goals while also being quickly and easily adopted by the employees, staff and clinicians is what defines a successful project.

To protect their PHI data from externals and especially internal threats healthcare executives must take steps to protect their health systems.

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4 factors health systems need to consider when protecting PHI

Integrating great technology with great talent in financial services

Investing in modern technology solutions not only helps financial services firms offer clients an empowered workforce focused on advancing their financial goals but is also a way to stay competitive; equipping ambitious new advisors with the tools they need to successfully and effectively do their job.
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When it comes to the hiring process, aspiring candidates aren’t the only ones trying to stand out, as employers across industries aim to showcase their innovative chops in the hopes of securing promising new talent. Financial institutions are no exception, especially as competition in the field heats up.

Like countless other industries, recruiting the best talent – those individuals that will help guide customers to make the best decisions for their portfolios – is important to success. It’s for this very reason that organizations need to leverage fresh and sophisticated technology that not only best serves the needs of clients, but also to incentivize new candidates.

In fact, according to a recent national survey, financial advisors express a resounding call for technology; an astounding 93 percent of financial advisors say they’d be interested in exploring innovative technology like speech-powered solutions to help them with their jobs.

These and other solutions are welcomed tools within financial services given the obstacles they help tackle: 37 percent of advisors from the same national survey spend more than three hours each day filling out all kinds of documentation. And, as with other professions, these individuals didn’t get into the business of finance to focus on paperwork.

It’s not just the productivity gains that make new tech tools appealing for financial service professionals; it also bolsters client communication and service, an aspect of the job that often becomes collateral damage when advisors are buried in paperwork – we’re talking nearly 90 percent of surveyed advisors admitting that heavy documentation demands limit valuable face time with clients.

By investing in modern tech solutions, financial firms can offer their clients an empowered workforce focused on advancing their financial goals, and, in turn, stay competitive by equipping ambitious new advisors with the tools they need to successfully and effectively do their jobs.

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The pitfalls of manual documentation

Documentation overload is nothing new in business, but many industries still rely on manual processes, which can be error-prone, time-consuming to less efficient and costly. New documentation productivity and workflow solutions can help.
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Completing reports, filling out forms, to sending emails or responding to general notes, on any given day, professionals can spend a large bulk of their time on paperwork. While manual documentation processes can have its pitfalls, from being error-prone, time-consuming, to less than efficient and costly, surprisingly, many professionals still rely solely on manual input methods; basically, typing or scribbling notes in long-hand to get work done.

Documentation overload is nothing new in business and its impact on professionals in countless industries is high. Police officers, for instance, say they spend 3-4 hours each day on incident reporting, according to a recent survey. And financial advisors, who are responding to increased regulations within the industry, indicate that their administrative costs will increase by 63 percent as a result of higher reporting demands.

Relying on manual documentation alone is no longer necessary, especially with the influx of new documentation productivity and workflow solutions. These systems are versatile enough to automate documentation workflows, enable powerful customizations, such as the ability to add templated content into reports and other business paperwork, as well as offer mobility, eliminating the need to sit behind a desk to get work done, but create, edit and share it from anywhere.

The benefits of automating documentation workflows, versus relying on manual processes alone, are many. And for those industries, whose business rely on moving mission-critical information, it can help improve collaboration, compliance, productivity, and costs.

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When gratitude extends beyond a single workday

From my family, a terrific team of professionals to being surrounding by powerful technology, Thanksgiving has me reflecting on the many blessings in my life.
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We all start to pause and reflect on the many things to be thankful for around the holidays. On a personal note, I’m thankful, each-and-every day, for my beautiful wife and kids. I appreciate the hard work from the dedicated team of professionals that surround me. I marvel at the solutions our company continues to deliver; solutions that make the lives of people, and organizations easier – and better.

Recently, my team and I had the opportunity to work with a large mid-western state police department. They had been experiencing issues with their incident reporting process. Inefficient documentation workflows were having a significant impact across the department – from an inability to move incident reports quickly to meet prosecutor deadlines, to paperwork burnout and safety with their troopers.

Over the course of several months, we worked with the department to implement our speech recognition technology into their incident reporting process. I’m thankful that my team and I helped the department not only improve reporting but also, if not more important, the safety of their troopers.

Along with a 50% reduction in report turnaround, over 70% of the department’s troopers said they experienced an immediate improvement with their situational awareness because they were better able to remain heads-up when dictating incident reports on patrol; keeping them more focused, and ultimately safer.

While my gratitude extends beyond an individual project, moment or across an entire day, as I, along with many other families celebrate Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the many blessings in my work and life. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Working faster and smarter makes for a healthier me

Finding work/life balance is a quest we all want to conquer. Fortunately, with powerful new tools at our disposal, it’s easier to get more done in less time; something that will benefit everyone in your life.
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Ask any parent of young children and the one thing that many of them want more of is, time. More time with their kids. Time to sit and relax with their significant other. Even time to catch up on the guilty pleasure of must-see TV.

Figuring out the answer to what makes for good work/life balance is a quest that many of us, with kids or otherwise, often try to conquer. And, when you happen to find that perfect mix, it makes for a healthier life. It also makes for a happier, more productive you. A win-win for both you and your boss.

In today’s hyper-connected world, where we’re always expected to be “on” and responsive at all times, that balance can sometimes be difficult to achieve.

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine. They were bemoaning the fact that they had to stay in the office late to finish up a report, and my first thought was, “you’re doing it wrong!” I say this with confidence because I work within an organization that is powered by wonderful technology; technology that is designed with one thing in mind – that by enabling people with smarter tools, we make things easier – and better, not only for individuals but for the organizations they work with and the people those organizations serve.

With today’s powerful voice-powered solutions, as just one example, work can basically get done anytime, anywhere. There’s no longer a need to sit behind a desk 8-hours a day completing work. Documents, reports, or any type of paperwork can be created, edited and shared on a device we all carry with us – our smartphones. And because of powerful cloud-sharing apps, information can be sent to colleagues – with real-time collaboration, at a moment’s notice.

I freely admit that access to all this intelligent technology doesn’t’ mean I never burn the midnight oil, but it certainly gives me back precious time, making for a happier, healthier me – and more importantly, a better life with my wife and kids.

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Poor documentation is risky business for financial advisors

For financial advisors, inaccurate and incomplete documentation is risky business. Whether information is moving in paper or electronic form, poor documentation can extend well beyond the quality of a financial plan or report, and impact compliance, customer service and business reputations.
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What is poor documentation? In general terms, it’s anything that prevents the clear presentation of information. It lacks clarity, accuracy or the specificity required to deliver data in either written or electronic form. For financial advisors, it also extends well beyond the documentation itself and can cause risk to their business – whether that risk is centered around compliance, customer service, or business reputations.

In an article titled Bad Writing Costs Businesses Billions, the author takes a look at poor business communication, primarily from a cost and efficiency perspective. While poor documentation can drive these inefficiencies, it’s the ways it can negatively impact the individuals and constituencies businesses serve that may prove more perilous.

For industries, like financial services, who are more and more focused on compliance, with consumer protection laws and new regulations enacted to prevent unfair and deceptive acts against consumers, its advisors need to clearly demonstrate that they are serving as fiduciaries who are representing their clients’ best interest, which is where poor documentation can become a major cause of risk.

Compliance challenges, specifically when it comes to financial documentation, are beginning to become top-of-mind within the industry, as recently highlighted in a national survey which found that 48% of financial advisors say they are spending hours documenting the full details of their conversations with clients to help reduce risk.

It’s not surprising then that documentation, as it relates to compliance, is also becoming center stage within more industry associations too, many of whom are adding financial documentation compliance  sessions to their meeting and events agendas. Couple this with a growing list of financial institutions who are using new tech tools, like speech recognition solutions, to help document their work in more efficient and accurate ways, and it’s becoming clear that compliance risk is a top challenge industry-wide.

While all businesses face risk, from economic factors, increased competition, to regulatory change and heightened regulatory scrutiny, poor documentation doesn’t have to be one of them.

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Improve business productivity with better documentation

Better documentation helps drive better business outcomes – from efficiency, higher accuracy, to saving time and costs. And it’s for this very reason that you can’t improve business productivity without taking a closer look at the paper trail in an organization.
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Look at any business productivity plan. They often center around several core elements, from the best strategies to drive efficiency; how to automate workflows to improve processes; to why flexibility makes for happier – and more productive employees. All of these, in fact, are the core tenants of documentation productivity improvement.  Improving one improves the other.

Central to any business productivity improvement strategy is to work smarter and faster. When it comes to documentation, being more efficient, accurate and flexible all result in better business outcomes – from improved productivity, higher accuracy, to better client service and more satisfied employees.

Countless studies, from various industries, report the time and costs associated with the business-side of paperwork are less than ideal.  Financial advisors, for instance, say that the due diligence required to meet regulatory compliance will increase their administrative workload by 63%. And in a recent survey, an overwhelming 89% indicated that heavy documentation limits the valuable face-time with clients.

We saw this same issue arise with a sizeable mid-western state police department we recently worked with. Facing ever-increasing documentation at the state and federal level, they were looking for ways to better automate their reporting process. With the help of our police reporting tools, they were able to improve incident reporting and reduce documentation turnaround times by a staggering 50 percent department-wide.

What does this mean for the business side of policing? More feet on the street. More funding. More enticement for recruits because of modernization. And just as important, more time placed towards higher-value tasks, like keeping our communities safe.

It’s clear to us and many of the organizations we speak with; you can’t improve business productivity without a closer look at the paper trail within an organization.

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3 critical trends in police technology

Police technology is advancing rapidly and following a similar trajectory to other industries that rely on moving mission-critical information. This year’s International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) highlights three key trends we see shaping how documentation gets done in policing.
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My team and I had the opportunity to meet and review our collective impressions of the major themes, takeaways, and trends in police technology after attending the International Association of Police Chiefs (IACP 2018) conference earlier this month.  My last IACP blog highlighted the excitement felt by law enforcement professionals, who are quickly embracing new policing tools. In this blog, I wanted to share the three key trends we see emerging within police technology, specific to documentation and police reporting.

Police tech is migrating to the cloud

Only two years ago, almost all our conversations surrounding software deployments – notably within Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management systems (CAD and RMS) – were focused on “on-premise” deployments and keeping data contained within the department.  Transacting any data to the cloud was often met with skepticism and concerns over security.  This year, as many of our fellow exhibitors demonstrated, the skepticism for cloud-based solutions is dissolving.  The adoption of best-of-breed cloud-based platforms and protocols designed for the public sector will continue to accelerate the adoption of, and demand for, cloud technology in policing.

AI-powered solutions in police tech have arrived

Whether it’s employed to detect the precise location of gunfire, predict “hot spots” of crimes before they occur, or used in speech recognition solutions – like Dragon Law Enforcement – to accurately predict the next spoken words in a sentence, Artificial Intelligence has made its mark in police technology.  As the universe of potential data shared and available to “mine” (thanks in no small part to cloud computing) accelerates, powerful algorithms and deep learning technology will continue to be employed to find “signals” in even unstructured data, find patterns and connect the dots.  One of the most positive outcomes: more intuitive ways to bring criminals to justice.

Police want smarter tools to get reporting done

We saw lots of interest and excitement surrounding our police reporting tools during the show.  We know, from conversations with law enforcement and recent surveys, that officers are seeking smarter tools to meet the growing reporting demands of their jobs.  In the realm of documentation, this means being able to automate, route and package information – like victim statements, photographs, interviews, mandated forms and audio/video files – that comprise a discreet “event,” like a single incident report, faster, accurately and more efficiently.  Technology, like our speech recognition and workflow solutions, that can help streamline reporting and reduce documentation bottlenecks will continue to be in high demand within public safety, as it already is within other document-intensive industries.

My team and I are honored to play a small role in shaping the new police technology that has evolved rapidly in the last few years, and we look forward to opportunities to help the women and men in blue leverage these smart tools in the coming years.

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The care behind document creation

From the smallest details captured within business paperwork to the where and how of report creation, it’s the care behind documentation that can have the most impact on business productivity, client service, and individual employees themselves.
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When it comes to the business-end of documentation, it’s not only the care behind what’s being documented but also the where and how it’s being captured that can help organizations improve outcomes at all levels – from business productivity, client service, to employee satisfaction, and in some instances, safety.

We recently met with the chief of police of a large police department who has been focusing heavily on the “where and how” of his documentation process. The chief, who’s officers, when on patrol, are often heads-down performing tasks like license plate lookups, wanted to learn how our solutions could better help improve safety across his department.

For the chief, like many department-heads, the care behind both the quality of his incident reports and, also the where and how they were being created, extends well beyond the paperwork itself.

It’s a similar situation for the caseworker, who understands that his or her in-home visit report will determine the services a family receives; or the legal professional who knows that the case files he creates will impact a legal proceeding; or, the financial advisor who recognizes that thorough notes will help him better serve his client’s financial goals.

All are interested in the details in the reports, notes, and documents they create, as well as what they will help produce – or prevent. It’s this level of care behind documentation that can make the difference in the outcomes they all achieve.

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From the floor of IACP 2018 to a police department near you

This year’s International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (IACP 2018) proved one thing – law enforcement is at-the-ready to test and implement new tools, methods and techniques – all in their quest to better protect and serve our communities.
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We had the opportunity to showcase our powerful police reporting solutions during this year’s International Association of Police Chiefs this week in Orlando, the preeminent event for public safety professionals.  During discussions with police chiefs, their command staff, and officers alike, I was amazed at their perceptiveness and readiness to embrace new technologies – all in their quest to better protect and serve.

Of all my talks and walks through the convention floor, it’s the meetings and discussions with these professionals that have their “feet on the street” that has me most excited about the future of police technology, and the opportunities we can create together to help them fulfill their mission.

I imagine a day when officers will be completely alleviated of their documentation burdens – where every police incident report will be created in a matter of minutes versus hours – simply by speaking. Where, instead of manually distributing reports throughout the department, and ultimately to prosecutors, they will be created, tagged and routed via automated workflows, so mission-critical information can be delivered in the right reports at the right time.

I think about all the future opportunities with ambient voice – where detectives will one day discard pen and paper and capture hours of interviews within interrogation rooms speaking into a single device; ultimately converting this audio into searchable data that can help to quickly pinpoint critical moments and move criminal proceedings along.

I marvel at the leaps and bounds our industry has already made with artificial intelligence, where departments are beginning to mine data from reports, video, and audio to help analyze crimes and anticipate, prevent and respond to them using predictive tools.

And I can envision a day when all law enforcement is using AI-enabled “virtual partners,” where first responders – police, fire, EMS – can actively monitor radio communications and flag and share critical language, like “gun,” over the cacophony of incoming noise to help them better respond to emergency situations.

Talking and learning about all the powerful, new police technologies that are coming into the market, at conferences like IACP, always makes me excited, and humbled by law enforcement; a community we, at Nuance, are privileged to serve.

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When help with writing takes on greater significance

With the backdrop of Dyslexia Awareness Month upon us, we are reminded of the discussions we have with parents, students and those individuals who struggle with reading and writing; discussions that truly demonstrate the powerful impact our Dragon speech recognition solutions have on people’s daily lives.
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We often talk about how Dragon speech recognition solutions help individuals and organizations tap into their productivity; enabling them to get more done by voice each day. But it’s an area that’s just as relevant, if not more significant, that makes me marvel at the small role we are able to play in helping to transform people’s daily lives. And with Dyslexia Awareness Month upon us, it’s the discussions we’ve had with individuals who struggle with learning issues, like dyslexia, that have left a powerful and lasting impact.

Thought to be one of the most common language-based learning issues that affect reading, writing, and spelling, the International Dyslexia Association estimates that, worldwide, dyslexia impacts over 700 million children and adults.  For these individuals, the inability to clearly articulate their thoughts creates barriers to performing simple, everyday tasks – like reading and writing; making what you and I may take for granted, a huge hurdle to cross.

I think of discussions with teachers like Cathi Graveline of the Foothills Academy in Calgary, the Academy’s Assistive Technology Specialist, who, with students as young as 8 years old, fight the daily battle to learn. Arming these students with tools like an iPad and Dragon, Graveline, along with countless other educators, are helping them achieve what we all want for our children – independence, success, and confidence.

This month I’m reminded of the countless conversations my team and I have shared with individuals with learning issues like dyslexia, all of whom expressed gratitude for helping them break down barriers to reading and writing. But truth be told, it’s we who should be most grateful; grateful in the fact that, day in and day out, we can play a small role in helping people communicate more easily in their daily lives – all with a simple word.

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Improve compliance with accurate documentation

For financial advisors, the ramifications of poor documentation are endless. It can increase compliance risk, impact client service and ruin business reputations. When documentation is accurate and complete, it can work wonders to help avoid these pitfalls and transform business processes.
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When financial advisors discuss improving financial compliance, documentation accuracy may not be the first thought that springs to mind. In fact, the foundation of any comprehensive compliance strategy should begin with accurate and complete documentation.

While, on the surface, improving documentation may seem like a minor issue; in reality, it should be at the core of any compliance strategy. The ripple effects of poor documentation can have huge ramifications across the business – compliance risks increase, client service declines, and business reputations suffer.

Compliance challenges facing financial advisors, specifically when it comes to documentation, mirror the results of a recent national survey, which found that 89% of advisors say they struggle with heavy documentation demands because of increased regulations and governance within the industry.

The burden to accurately and efficiently author financial documentation to meet compliance has more and more advisors focused on paperwork like never before. In fact, 37% of those responding to our survey said they spend 3 hours a day on paperwork alone; from writing regulatory filings, client financial plans, to completing other notes and documents.

Financial institutions need to build a comprehensive compliance strategy that includes smart technologies to help with documentation; tools, like speech recognition, that can ease the documentation burden, from helping advisors to onboard a new client, automate processes like distributing standardized forms and templates firm-wide, to simply empowering them to capture the immediacy and detail of client interactions in real-time.

Building an efficient and accurate documentation workflow is no longer an after-thought when it comes to meeting financial compliance. Are you ready?

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When paperwork leads to burnout

Employees with heavy documentation demands face mounting pressure to get more done in less time, with paperwork stress leading to burnout. Solving the documentation burden can go a long way in helping to streamline employee workloads; improving productivity, costs and reducing stress.
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I’m often asked what is the most frequent issue that customers want to address when we meet; it’s quite simple, paperwork overload. While many enterprise organizations want to save time and costs, in all instances, and if not more important, they are also looking for help with their documentation workflows, and in so doing, to alleviate employee stress.

According to a recent Gallup study, 23% of employees surveyed reported feeling burned out at work, either very often or always. Of the top reasons for employee dissatisfaction, according to Gallup, was an unmanageable workload and unreasonable time pressures on the job.

For employers dealing with workforces that are beholden to meeting constant documentation deadlines, this can create a snowball effect. Continually struggling to balance documentation demands, while also trying to free-up staff for other high-value tasks, can become a constant battle for organizations and employees alike.

Industries heavily reliant on reporting, like law enforcement, for instance, will not be surprised by Gallup’s findings. Take police officers as an example.  Officers are required to document each incident they respond to, and in many cases, a simple report, even associated with a minor infraction, can take upwards of one hour to complete. Couple this with the dozens of calls officers respond to daily, and it’s not surprising that many are spending 3-4 hours completing incident reports per shift, resulting in documentation pressures that have a ripple effect across police departments.

Community visibility suffers (which can impact funding); court-proceedings can be stalled if reports aren’t submitted on time – or worse, criminals can walk free, and; the stress to get reports done faster can leave officers heads-down in their patrol cars, and more susceptible to ambush – or accidents.

While not all reporting inefficiencies are as dire, the pressure to complete paperwork in a timely and efficient manner is felt by many. Financial advisors, whose paperwork burdens are increasing because of pressure to keep up with regulatory mandates, expect that their admin load will increase by 24 percent in the coming years, and costs associated with paperwork will spike by 63 percent, they say.

Mounting pressure to get more done in less time has its drawbacks, and burnout can be at the top of the list.  The good news: solving the documentation burden can go a long way in helping to streamline employee workloads; improving productivity, costs and reducing paperwork stress.

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Top challenges with police incident reporting

As we gear up for this year’s International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (IACP 2018), we take a closer look at the top incident reporting challenges law enforcement professionals face on a day-to-day basis.
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The most valuable use of a police officer’s time is actively spent – actively patrolling and protecting communities, solving and closing cases, and sharing mission-critical information. Heavy reporting demands can seriously slow down such dynamic operations, often at the expense of other policing priorities.

Each day law enforcement professionals face reporting challenges, all of which have huge implications for responsibilities both in and out of the police station. As we look towards the upcoming International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference (IACP 2018), where we will be exhibiting and showcasing our powerful police reporting solutions, we wanted to take a moment to address the top incident reporting challenges we will be discussing with professionals at this year’s event.

1. Time-consuming reporting demands limit officer visibility

Law enforcement officials recognize and respect the role accurate documentation plays in their job, but today’s reporting processes can be unproductive and labor-intensive. According to a recent national survey of police departments, almost 40% of officers revealed that incident reporting and other documentation tasks can take 3-4 hours to complete, resulting in a quarter of their day dedicated solely to paperwork. This is time officers can’t put toward protecting the communities they serve and can radically limit their visibility. For this reason, many departments attending conferences like IACP will be looking at the new tools available that can help reduce administrative burdens and get officers back to what matters most – protecting and serving the community.

2. Choosing between speed and accuracy

Police paperwork is integral to moving court proceedings along, and can even determine criminal convictions. As such, it’s crucial that police reports and other documents related to proceedings are completed not only quickly, but accurately. As transparency in policing has become a bigger priority in recent years, reporting carries even more importance. The question facing officers, then, is how do they document time-sensitive information, where each detail holds significance, without sacrificing speed or specificity? More and more departments are relying on new solutions, such as voice-powered speech recognition tools, to help officers dictate information in real-time, while the details are still fresh in their mind, resulting in more thorough, accurate reports.

3. Outdated systems lead to officer safety issues and poor ergonomics

In the survey, just over half of the respondents cited dissatisfaction with legacy Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) and Records Management Systems (RMS) and expressed interest in new solutions to help. Outdated interfaces make these systems difficult to use, plus the effort to navigate them can even cause physical discomfort; hunched over in their patrol cars, officers must twist and turn to type and search for data, often resulting in lower back, wrist and neck pain. More seriously, when officers are operating these systems, they’re forfeiting their situational awareness by being heads-down and not connected to their surroundings, making them more vulnerable to ambush attacks or accidents. It’s not surprising then that many departments continually seek solutions that will help improve safety and not hamper it.

4. Siloed technology delays the sharing of mission-critical information

Current police reporting tools need to be overhauled and innovated. Legacy CAD/RMS systems are siloed, making it a challenge to connect officers and their command staff to vital details. In emergency situations when lives are on the line, this information cannot be held up. Incorporating intelligent voice-powered technologies, like Dragon Law Enforcement, for instance, make it not only more convenient and faster to help search for and document mission-critical information, but for public safety officials, who need to spend the majority of their time attuned with their surroundings, it’s also safer. They can capture, document and share information within the CAD/RMS by voice, all while staying heads-up and situationally aware.

Clearly, officers face many challenges in doing their jobs day-to-day and helping to keep communities safe. Police paperwork shouldn’t be one of them.

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The race to go digital in financial services

From capturing and turning data into meaningful insights, using digital tools like robo-advisors to augment customer service, to new applications backed by artificial intelligence, the delivery of financial information today is being shaped by technology. While the opportunities for embracing new tools are boundless, putting customers at the heart of your digital strategy is the best approach.
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The race to go digital has many industries like financial services looking at new technologies, such as those backed by artificial intelligence, to help transform their business. While the opportunities for embracing digital tools are boundless, racing towards the finish line isn’t always the best approach.

We recently had the opportunity to speak at the Ai4 Finance conference last month in New York City.  The conference, which is a first-of-its-kind for the industry, brought together business leaders, data practitioners, and pioneers, all of whom were meeting to explore how applying technology, such as artificial intelligence can help them solve problems and create opportunities across the spectrum of their services – from the use of robo-advisors to augment customer interactions, help with fraud detection and credit scoring to new approaches to better meet compliance.

For financial advisors in-particular, many of whom are looking at digital tools to help meet increasing regulatory requirements, the question becomes how best to implement technology in a smooth and effective way, while also putting customers first. It’s this client-first thinking that wins the day.

Technology, for all its powerful possibilities, should be viewed as an additional asset to help advisors do their jobs better, not a replacement for one-to-one human interactions. The advisor-client relationship, like all customer relationships, boils down to delivering a consistent and engaging customer experience that is built on trust. Adding a digital side to financial services amplifies these drivers.

Shifts, like those resulting from increased regulations where advisors need to demonstrate that they are serving as a fiduciary, make it even more important to keep a consistent client/advisor interaction, where advisors not only have to deliver the attentive, personalized services that clients seek but also document these interactions clearly and accurately to help mitigate risk.

Conferences like Ai4 Finance remind us of the scores of new technologies that can help maintain trust and loyalty with customers, and also how important the human-side of going digital in today’s technology culture remains.

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Unleashing student creativity by voice

Help students get homework done in a faster, efficient and more creative way and arm them with tech tools, like speech recognition to help.
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For students who struggle to get their thoughts down on paper, homework and other writing tasks can become a challenge. Issues such as dyslexia or dysgraphia, both of which make reading and spelling difficult, can make writing a complex and frustrating task.

While the challenges for these students may be greater than most, the ever-increasing availability of technology solutions offer these, and countless other students, creative ways for homework help.  Tools from iPads to speech recognition technology, where students can dictate homework assignments versus typing by hand, afford an opportunity to unleash student learning.

The Foothills Academy, based in Calgary, is just one example. According to Cathi Graveline, the Academy’s Assistive Technology Specialist, students as young as 8 years old are using Dragon and their iPads to dictate homework and classroom assignments, which is increasingly beneficial to the Academy’s population of students with Learning Disabilities, says Graveline.

“Students are experiencing increased independence, success and confidence, as Dragon helps to eliminate or minimize barriers that interfere with the writing process, such as spelling and handwriting. Dictating their work helps to free up cognitive space so that students don’t lose their thoughts and ideas while worrying about the mechanics of writing.”

Speech recognition solutions, like Dragon Home version 15, which we just released today, offer students of all ages and ranges a myriad of benefits over writing by hand.

  • For those who struggle with getting thoughts down on paper, the ability to better articulate their ideas through their words provides a much more fluid and creative writing experience.  Instead of manually typing – or writing by hand, they can simply speak their thoughts out loud and watch their words appear on the screen as they dictate.
  • Because high recognition accuracy goes together with today’s speech recognition solutions, users do not need to worry about how words are spelled. The vocabulary in these intelligent systems are very expansive – mitigating the need to worry about spelling altogether, delivering recognition accuracy of up to 99%.
  • Because users speak instead of worrying about the manual process of typing itself, they are better able to capture thoughts down quickly – in fact, 3x faster. This free-flow of ideas offers the user the ability to speak their mind without thinking about the mechanics of typing.
  • With new features, such as the ability to playback dictated content, editing becomes easier still. Users can ask the system to playback their dictated text and edit as they go for faster and more efficient proofreading.

While speech recognition and other tools students may use won’t eliminate the hours of homework they’ll have to complete throughout the school year, they can provide a better way to capture their thoughts in writing in a faster, easier and more creative way.

For more information on the all-new Dragon Home version 15, visit here.

Introducing Dragon Home v 15

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Minimizing the costs and risks of prescription printing with plain paper

Research dictates that hospitals must cut costs by 2022 just to break even. Forward thinking hospitals are finding innovative ways to do just this including employing cutting-edge prescription printing software. These innovative solutions combine CMS Tamper Resistant security features with information they receive from the electronic health record (EHR) directly onto plain paper. Thus, cutting costs and minimizing risks while retaining security compliance.
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Nuance solutions can help minimize the risks of prescription printing with plain paper

Savvy hospitals are turning to new innovations in printing to help them cut costs and minimize risks using plain paper prescription printing.

According to Black Book Research “in order to break even, average hospital costs will have to be reduced by 24 percent by 2022.” That percentage seems almost insurmountable with the mounting costs associated with managing a hospital. In recent years, regulatory compliance demands and pressures from HIPAA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have added to their responsibilities.  Researchers from Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health indicate that while other nations spend between 1%-3% to administer their health plans;  administrative costs are 8% of total health spending in the US. Chipping away at some of this administrative spend is imperative.

The Cost of Compliance

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicated that “drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans in 2016. Nearly two-thirds of these deaths (66%) involved a prescription or illicit opioid.” A quick scan of the news highlights the gravity of this problem. To stem this epidemic CMS mandates that all computer generated, and hand-written prescriptions have at least one industry recognized security feature in each of three categories.

  • Copy Resistance: to prevent copying of a completed or blank prescription
  • Erasure/Modification Resistance: to prevent the erasure or modification of information written on the prescription
  • Counterfeit Resistance: to prevent the use of counterfeit prescriptions

As such, when physical prescriptions are needed, hospitals must ensure they adhere to these guidelines. Compliance for many means using costly tamper resistant paper and special printing devices.

As you can imagine, tamper resistant paper and the special devices required to print them can be costly not just to obtain but to maintain as well. Hospitals must bear the burden and risks associated with retaining tight custody of the paper as it moves from delivery all the way to becoming an actual prescription. Often this requires the use of security guards to protect the shipment of the paper, having the printers in locked rooms, having printers with special locked trays, and tightly monitoring reloading the printers. With prescription fraud as rampant as it is, hospitals cannot afford to have their prescription paper stolen.

 

Make it plain – plain paper printing

With the need to cut costs yet maintain excellence several hospitals are now employing cutting edge prescription printing software to do the heavy lifting for their prescription printing. These innovative solutions combine CMS Tamper Resistant security features with information they receive from the electronic health record (EHR) directly onto plain paper.  Yes, plain paper! This vendor-agnostic approach allows for industry-recognized security features to be printed on a broad range of printers. Hospitals can then leverage existing technology and equipment. Hospitals then get a panto-graph background that states “VOID” if copied, and the original document has microprint that renders the text unreadable if copied all on their plain paper. Added to this, variable printing on the back of each prescription adds an extra layer of security. They also can Include a security warning box at the bottom of the page that lists all the security features included so pharmacists can know what to look for to check for authenticity

In addition to these CMS Tamper Resistant security features, some print features, such as those found in Nuance’s print management solutions, offer secure printing workflows that record all key details about a job including who released/printed it, even on single- function printers equipped with a card reader.

 

Benefits of Secure Plain Paper Prescription Printing:

 

When you remove the cost of special paper, special printing devices, and the additional personnel to protect the paper hospitals can realize significant savings. Some of these benefits include:

  • Works with a broad range of print
  • Eliminates the cost and management of pre-printed form
  • Removes need for special printers or locking t
  • Provides secure print release with complete chain-of-custody track
  • Supports MFDs and single-function printers via POE reader.
  • Offers a centralized enterprise-level output management syst
  • Enables failover printing and audit t

 

The cost and risks savings from prescription printing software is significant! By using innovative prescription printing software hospitals can write secure prescriptions without the large overhead costs all while remaining secure and compliant.

Nuance Healthcare Solutions Can Help

Visit our healthcare solutions page to learn more about how we can help secure your print environment

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Nuance solutions can help minimize the risks of prescription printing with plain paper

Transform documentation with real-time note-taking

Using intelligent mobile tools for real-time note-taking provides professionals with the ability to create documents quickly and accurately, all while improving productivity, client service, and in the case of law enforcement, keeping our streets safer.
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From smartphones and tablets to dictation apps and broadband technology, intelligent mobile tools have transformed the way content is created, captured and shared.  With the ability to take notes in real-time, mobile documentation in-particular affords many professionals, especially those that work in the field or outside of the office most often, a multitude of benefits.

By capturing greater detail and specificity in reports to limiting after-hours paperwork, real-time note-taking can help transform the way you work and live in many ways.

Improve accuracy for better compliance

I often speak about the importance of accuracy in achieving the high-value documentation required to maintain compliance, all of which is contingent upon capturing detail and specificity in reports and other business-paperwork. More-often-than-not, however, the documentation needed to meet compliance is often created after a client visit, or, in many cases, after hours. This doesn’t work well when accuracy is a must.

Real-time note-taking eliminates this barrier because paperwork can be completed at-the-moment, without the need to recall events from hours before. For document-intensive industries, like Financial Services, for example, whose advisors struggle to produce accurate and timely documentation to meet regulatory compliance, capturing interactions with clients in real-time can help chronicle the details needed in financial plans and other reports, all of which helps mitigate compliance risk.

Improve efficiency and get back time

Field workers and other mobile employees oftentimes spend hours each day on the road or visiting clients. For these professionals, reporting is the mainstay of their job and can mean the difference between providing much-need services to moving criminal proceedings along, as in the case with law enforcement.

Reports not submitted on-time are not an option for these workers. This means the bulk of paperwork, if not finished between 9 to 5, needs to be completed after hours; a burden to themselves as well as the constituencies they serve.

Police officers, for instance, can spend upwards of 3 to 4 hours each day on reporting duties, according to a recent survey. Oftentimes, this has them spending their day at the station, in-between or after shifts, completing incident reports.

The pressure on law enforcement is huge; time spent on reporting and other police-paperwork take valuable time away from the community. These documentation inefficiencies impact productivity, public service, not to mention how much time officers spend on documentation both in and outside of work.

While these are only two of the many benefits of real-time note-taking, the ability to create documents quickly and accurately, using intelligent mobile tools, can help improve productivity, client service, and in the case of law enforcement, keep our streets safer.

Drive mobile documentation productivity

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Shifting time from police report writing to community service

Growing use of technology in policing helps departments return-back time to police officers, so they can spend less time at the station typing incident reports and more time keeping communities safe
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Of the many important issues, we discuss with law enforcement, looking for ways to help their officers spend more time out in the community is probably at the top of the list. With an increased emphasis on community policing, improving officer safety, to making systems like Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management Systems (or CAD and RMS) easier to use, it’s not surprising that a common sentiment among police chiefs and other departments heads is, “how do we give officers back time?”  Today, however, one of the largest obstacles to achieving this goal is outdated documentation processes and workflows, many of which are still manual in nature.

As the focus continues to shift towards onboarding better tools and technologies in policing, one of the central areas many departments need to tackle is the amount of paperwork in police work required to get the job done. While a critical component of policing, incident reporting demands can become a burdensome task for many officers and hinder the critical time they need to spend out patrolling our streets.

According to a recent national survey of police departments, 39% of officers said they can spend upwards of 3 to 4 hours each day completing incident reports and other police-paperwork. This means that the average officer is spending half of an eight-hour shift typing up reports.

With documentation demands like this, day in and day out, it’s no wonder that many departments are struggling to balance the requisite paperwork requirements to move criminal cases along against the time needed to be out in the community to stop crime from happening in the first place.

Chief Joe Solomon of the Methuen Police Department, outside of Boston, Massachusetts, recognizes the importance of providing his officers with new methods and better tools to help them work more efficiently – and just as critical, in a safer way. “We need systems that are not only smart but can work seamlessly together to help us better deliver key information out into the field to stop crime before it happens.” says Solomon.

The Chief isn’t alone. With the growing expectation from police officers to access tools to help them complete everyday tasks, from writing incident report to entering data into the RMS, or simply calling up a license plate, the demand for solutions like Dragon Law Enforcement speech recognition to help departments get police paperwork done – faster, safer and more efficiently – is growing.

In the end, anything that can help officers dedicate more time to active policing can make the difference in the daily lives of the communities they serve.

Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork

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Financial advisors look to balance using technology and client service

The choice between going digital and maintaining human connections are not mutually exclusive, and tools that offer a compromise between automation and personalization are tremendously valuable.
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Like many industries, Financial Services straddles a line between maintaining a human approach in customer relationships and evolving technology. One example is the popularity of automated systems like robo-advisors,  where consumers answer questions about their financial goals online without having to interface with another person. As we continue to hear about more and more services becoming automated, and in some instances without the need for human connections, many may wonder, “Is this the future?”

Today’s reality is less extreme. There will always be a need to balance both technology and human interaction, within many industries and for many tasks. Many people, in fact, are still most comfortable with services that foster a sense of security by speaking to an actual person.

For the Financial Services industry in particular, shifts, like those resulting from increased regulations, make it even more important to maintain the client/advisor interaction, where advisors not only have to deliver the attentive, personalized services that clients may seek but also document these interactions clearly and accurately to mitigate compliance risks.

Ironically, close to 90% of financial advisors responding to a recent survey say heavier documentation requirements, in the face of increased regulations, are limiting the very thing that will help them establish more solid relationships with their clients  – valuable face time. These limitations can be attributed, in part, to advisors spending upwards of 3 hours each day writing financial plans, filings, and having to complete other paperwork after client meetings, according to the survey.

With stats like this, it’s no wonder that financial advisors are seeking tools in their quest to preserve a human touch in a digital world. Solutions like speech recognition that help them tackle several issues in the growing digital landscape, particularly when it comes to inefficient documentation processes, can help. Because advisors can complete financial documentation more efficiently, they are better able to improve service by delivering more detailed, accurate and customized plans, all while meeting compliance and getting back time to spend with each client.

The choice between going digital and maintaining human connections are not mutually exclusive, and tools that offer a compromise between automation and personalization are tremendously valuable.

You can read the results the Role of Technology in Financial Documentation Compliance survey here.

Gain control of financial documentation

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GDPR enforcement in healthcare

Enforcement of the GDPR is looming and healthcare organizations face new requirements. Healthcare organizations must be in compliance with the new regulation in order to avoid facing steep penalties. As a result, they will need to assess key security components and processes like data breach detection and notification, data controller and data processing procedures and training to ensure they meet the mandates of the GDPR. The "right to personal data" and "right to be forgotten" are additional measures that organizations must be prepared for.
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GDPR is a call to healthcare industry to improve paper problem

 

After four years of extensive preparation and debate, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect on May 25, 2018. U.S. healthcare systems globally expanded or actively marketing and delivering care to EU patients will need to comply. While few U.S. healthcare providers have expanded globally, those that have include prominent organizations such as Johns Hopkins Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Mayo Clinic and UPMC. Other healthcare systems are likely to follow suit in the coming years as demand for U.S. healthcare expertise grows worldwide, and the EU emerges as a prime target market.

Healthcare systems needing to comply with GDPR are likely focused on the two most pressing requirements – securing patient consent to use their personal data for business purposes not directly related to care and ensuring the ability to erase all instances of personal patient data upon a patient’s request. While that may sound reasonable, GDPR is a large, complex bill with vines reaching into often overlooked corners of the healthcare enterprise, specifically paper documents. What are the top document management priorities for healthcare providers striving to become GDPR compliant?

Digitize paper

More than 40 percent of healthcare organizations report having paper reduction initiatives in place, according to research from IDC. Despite this, paper remains prevalent in the healthcare enterprise. Even hospitals that have achieved late-stage Meaningful Use continue to process high paper volumes. In many cases, paper and print volumes have increased. One reason for this is because people naturally prefer absorbing long, complex information from paper as opposed to on a screen.

Many hospitals have accumulated filing cabinets full of paper and the prospect of digitizing it all is daunting. However, digital documents are inherently more secure and support greater levels of consumer data protection and privacy than paper – giving them the advantage in a GDPR world.

Automate Workflows

Hospitals continue to rely on paper to support a wide range of work processes, including admissions, prescriptions and discharges. When workflows are paper-based, they are less secure and more time-consuming than digital processes. Advantages of automated workflows include the ability to access a complete, verifiable audit trail of what data is sent to whom, and where it resides in the funnel at any given point in time. This augments a hospital’s ability to locate personally identifiable information quickly and accurately, even within in-transit data, and ensure data is not being routed for any business purpose other than patient care.

Secure the Printer

Information security initiatives are often focused on mitigating cyber security threats, server hacks and database vulnerabilities, ensuring data both at rest and in flight is protected. Numerous industry sources have found that paper documents are often overlooked. However, with the GDPR’s intense focus on data privacy, paper documents represent a newly rediscovered security risk.

The multifunction printer (MFP) is a standard piece of office equipment but is a hub for sensitive personal data as it transitions from digital to paper and back again. If it is not properly addressed, it has the potential to become a major data security and GDPR compliance blind spot. To alleviate the security risk at the MFP, healthcare organizations can apply a variety of device-level controls. Two examples include user authorization, which releases print jobs only when an authorized worker validates at the device; and file destination control, which restricts scanned documents to pre-approved destinations.

GDPR Opens the Door

Improved document management – particularly efforts to reduce paper – offers many benefits. These include greater data security aligning with the governing rules of GDPR (and HIPAA), and improved operational efficiency. Whether or not U.S. healthcare organizations find themselves reckoning with GDPR compliance, the bill’s mandates present a valuable opportunity for all healthcare systems to digitize and automate their document management processes.

Gain control over your paper problem

Nuance solutions help healthcare organizations gain control over their paper problem. Visit this page to learn more.

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GDPR is a call to healthcare industry to improve paper problem

Build your documentation strategy like a business plan

Whether looking to improve police incident reports, streamline workflows for in-field workers, or seeking to optimize other business paperwork, build a better plan using these three core strategies and create a more productive, efficient and compliant documentation experience.
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Documentation management is like building a business  plan. You create a vision of what you’re trying to achieve; assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and in some instances, any threats; and then create a realistic strategy on how to execute your plan. We usually discuss this type of process when working with business leaders looking at how best to manage documentation within their organizations.

While there are many strategies that can be deployed when talking documentation improvement, here are three that should be central to any comprehensive optimization plan.

 

1. Make accuracy the cornerstone of documentation process improvement

I say this often; in fact, I addressed it in a previous post: documentation accuracy is the most important component of any documentation workflow strategy. Documents, if not created accurately the first time, can impact vital areas of your business, and in many instances, impede productivity. More time spent creating inefficient documentation is less time spent on other critical tasks. A worst-case scenario: inaccurate documentation can result in non-compliance, ruin business reputations, not to mention, cost money.

Industries like Financial Services, for instance, are now being held to even higher compliance standards because of new fiduciary rules. As a result, their advisors must document interactions with clients in greater detail to help mitigate financial compliance risks.

Law enforcement has an even stricter edict. If an incident report is not detailed and complete – and delivered on time, it can result in criminals walking free. While this is a more extreme example, the ripple effects of inaccurate documentation should not be taken lightly.

 

2. Factor mobility into your documentation workflow

In many fields, the ability to document and capture information in real-time is important. This is where mobile documentation has a significant impact. As noted earlier, accuracy is critical, and real-time note-taking can help. When the immediacy of relaying vital information from the field to other peers is paramount, mobile documentation becomes even more critical.

Take social workers, for instance. They need to create a home visit report after each meeting with a client. These reports provide valuable and relevant information for case assessment and planning. If details are not documented and delivered in a timely manner, this can impact the services children and families receive.

With the mobile workforce expected to exceed over 100 million in the next few years, a documentation workflow strategy without mobility is less than efficient.

 

3. Acknowledge documentation pitfalls – and address them head on

Several years back we were meeting with the Chatham-Kent Police Department. They had been struggling with a less than ideal incident report process, resulting in inefficient report submission, significant backlogs, delays in overall progression of cases, and persistent problems with the quality of reports being filed. It was clear to them – and us – that changes needed to be made to their overall reporting strategy.

Being able to acknowledge when and where something is going wrong is extremely important. Addressing pitfalls head-on allowed Chatham-Kent to achieve an 80% reduction in report time, incorporating a new reporting process that included speech recognition technology.

Whether looking to improve police incident reports, streamline workflows for in-field workers, or seeking to optimize other business paperwork, build a better plan using these three core strategies and create a more productive, efficient and compliant documentation experience.

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Is your documentation workflow at a standstill?

By embracing mobile tools, companies can accelerate the speed of data collection, ensure the information captured is accurate, and provide employees with the ability to work how and where they want.
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In today’s digital world, work doesn’t take time off. With the influx of mobile technologies, from applications, devices, to the ever-increasing speed of broadband, employees have – and expect –immediate access to constant streams of information, making it possible to work from anywhere, at any time.

Since employees are always connected, companies need to be too. Cumbersome workflows are becoming more streamlined, with more organizations using intuitive mobile tools to improve their business processes, client service – and in many cases, productivity. This shift is no longer a nice to have, but a must-have – and for multiple reasons.

Embracing new tools attracts new hires

In this new mobile environment, businesses need to be aligned with the demands of their workforce; which means they always need to be looking ahead. Generation Y and Z enter the workforce with a tech-savvy mindset, and expect to have the most innovative tools readily available to them. They want to communicate, connect and work the way they want and where they want.  And, if your organization isn’t embracing solutions that enhance both internal and external workflows and are collaborative and agile, you may not attract the best candidates for the job.

We often hear this with many of the businesses we work with, for instance police departments, who are constantly looking to onboard new tools to better engage younger officers coming up in the field.

The mobile enterprise is already here

As mobile devices continue to evolve, there will be unlimited opportunities to harness their power to increasingly improve the way employees work and learn. Innovations, from augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI), are just a few of the new and upcoming concepts being embraced by business to enable access to, and the creation and sharing of data in new ways

Mobile documentation is just one example of a big shift taking place. Once relegated to desktop applications alone, today employees who work in the field are creating reports, filling out forms – and essentially getting any type of documentation done, uploaded and shared in real-time using a single device – their mobile phone or tablet.

Moving critical information where it needs to be

Because of poor workflows, some areas within an established business could be overlooked, and in some cases, increase risk if the accuracy of documentation is compromised.

Legal proceedings, for instance, are bound by clear and precise notes. A police incident report, if compromised or delayed, can negatively impact the outcome of a criminal case. The interaction between client and financial advisor now needs to be clearly articulated to mitigate compliance risk and meet new fiduciary regulations. The stakes to chronicle information within reports, and other business paperwork accurately, effectively – and oftentimes with immediacy – is extremely important, and critical to many businesses.

By embracing new tools, especially those with mobility in mind, a business can better accelerate the speed of data collection, ensure the information captured is accurate, and best of all, provide employees with the ability to work how and where they want.

Drive mobile documentation productivity

Give your mobile workforce the power to get paperwork and other documentation done wherever their job takes them, with Dragon Anywhere Group, the cloud-based professional-grade mobile dictation solution for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets

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Making CAD/RMS systems more intelligent

Intelligent reporting combined with speech recognition technology brings unprecedented speed and accuracy to mission-critical public safety communication
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Law enforcement, emergency transportation services and 911 operators depend on Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management Systems (CAD/RMS) to quickly and accurately document and share mission-critical information. These systems, in fact, are at the heart of any public safety program, with first responders sending out mass amounts of communications each day to ensure rapid response to time-critical situations.

While vital to law enforcement, the public safety sector is relying heavily on systems using older technology to complete one of their most mission-critical tasks. As reporting requirements continually increase, the need to find a simpler way to deliver information to those on the ground in a faster and more accurate way is paramount.

Chief Joe Solomon of the Methuen Police Department recognizes the importance of adding new tools in today’s policing arsenal to help him and his officers do their day to-day work in an easier, more efficient and safer manner.

“We’re continually looking at new methods and better tools to help our officers work more efficiently – and just as critical, in a safer way,” says Solomon. “We need systems that are not only smart but can work seamlessly together to help us better deliver key information out into the field to stop crime before it happens.”

Our recent partnership with CAD/RMS system provider, Nexgen, answers Chief Solomon’s and other department chiefs’ needs. The partnership marks a new frontier for fast, accurate and integrated public safety communication.

Intelligent voice-powered technologies, like Dragon Law Enforcement, make it not only more convenient and faster to help search for and document mission-critical information, but for public safety officials, who need to spend the majority of their time attuned with their surroundings, it’s also safer. They can capture, document and share information within the CAD/RMS by voice, all while staying heads-up and situationally aware.

There are countless new policing tools being used by departments across the country. For our part, we’re honored that we can help departments like Chief Solomon’s streamline the flow of vital information that will keep communities, and officers safer.

Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork

Learn about the key documentation issues facing law enforcement professionals specific to incident reporting and other essential documentation tasks.

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You can’t meet financial compliance without accuracy

Financial services firms need to be smart about meeting compliance to help mitigate risk, and a new generation of intelligent voice-powered solutions can help.
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When most professionals discuss compliance, documentation accuracy may not be the first thought that springs to mind. In fact, accuracy and compliance go hand in hand, and should be at the core of any comprehensive financial compliance strategy.

Last month we attended the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority conference (or FINRA); and had the opportunity to discuss and listen to compliance challenges facing financial advisors. These challenges, specifically when it comes to financial documentation compliance, mirror the results of a recent national survey we conducted, which found that 89% of advisors say they struggle with heavy documentation demands because of increased regulations and governance within the industry.

The burden to accurately and efficiently author financial documentation to meet compliance has more and more advisors focused on paperwork like never before. In fact, 37% of those responding to our survey said they spend 3 hours a day on paperwork alone; from writing regulatory filings, client financial plans, to completing other notes and documents.

So, it wasn’t surprising for us to see sessions at FINRA specifically focused on financial documentation, like how to better document and monitor client and advisor interactions, to creating effective records management and retention programs.

Financial institutions need to build a comprehensive compliance strategy that includes smart technologies to help with documentation; tools, like speech recognition, that can ease the documentation burden, from helping advisors to on-board a new client, automate processes like distributing standardized forms and templates firm-wide, to simply empowering them to capture the immediacy of client interactions in real-time.

Building an efficient and accurate documentation workflow is no longer an after-thought. Is your firm ready?

Financial Documentation Compliance Survey

Nuance Dragon Role of Technology in Financial Documentation Compliance survey finds financial advisors need help with documentation compliance

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Mobile technology and the next generation

This next generation of employees can teach us so many things about where and how we need to evolve with our technology – our company; and even more importantly, have inspired me to look at things with a fresh set of eyes.
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We have several interns working with us at Nuance this summer, and, over the past several weeks I’ve had the opportunity to interact with them. They’re bright, enthusiastic, and starting on successful career paths. They’re also the generation that is most adept and comfortable with technology; more so than I ever was at that age, and I’ve been a technophile my entire adult career.

The use of technology by Millennials is not necessarily anything new. In fact, when speaking with many of the industries we work with, we often talk about how using intelligent tools to help streamline documentation workflows will better serve their younger workforce.

More and more police departments, for instance, whose officers are saddled with heavy reporting demands are beginning to leverage new technologies to make it easier, more efficient – and safer to create incident reports in the field. And, many say that getting their younger officers to adopt new tools, like speech recognition, is usually an easier ask; they’ve grown up using smart devices, are comfortable with voice as an input method, and frankly, expect technology to keep up with them.

This is not surprising to Shauna Mancinelli, a student at Fairfield University who’s working on our Digital Marketing team. When I asked Shauna how she uses technology in her daily life, she basically said she wakes up and falls asleep with her phone by her side. “My phone sits next to me at work, and when I leave work it remains by my side; it’s my security blanket.” s

Shauna’s response is not that surprising. This is a group that grew up with technology and it seems almost impossible to imagine a world without it.  According to Shauna, using her voice to interact with devices is an every-day occurrence, and tools like Dragon Anywhere, our professional-grade mobile dictation app are very appealing.

Fellow intern, Jared Abernathy, a student from Merrimack College, who’s working within our Brand and Customer Experience team, also lives with technology, and anything mobile is game.

“I tend to use voice-powered solutions when I’m driving, to send a message or get directions.  I’m pretty much on my phone for a majority of the day to text, listen to music, and catch up on social media,” Jared says.

“For me I use technology every day,” says Lauren Adams, who’s studying at Framingham State University, and is working with our Programs Marketing team.  “I use my phone as my alarm; immediately check all social media accounts, and then proceed to get out of bed. I drive to work with my GPS, while also listening to Apple Music through my phone. I can pay my bills, watch television, search the web, and scroll through social media; all using one device.”

This next generation of employees will certainly shape the way we evolve our technology, and they’re inspiring me to look at things with a fresh set of eyes.

Tools for the new mobile workforce

A new-range of mobile tools, like Dragon Anywhere, empower employees with the ability to get their work done anytime, anywhere.

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Evolution of writing instruments: From Biro pen to speech recognition

Just like when the Biro pen was introduced decades ago, modern day writing instruments continue to be developed to help document our thoughts, and our work, with permanence – and accuracy.
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Seventy-five years ago, this past weekend, Hungarian brothers László and György Bíró filed a patent for their revolutionary invention – the ballpoint pen. Its creation eradicated the need to rely on fountain pens and the medieval quill, which were more prone to produce smudgy and messy script. Closing in on a century later, people continue to trade in older, manual instruments for sharper tools; solutions like voice-enabled technology, that, like the ballpoint pen, can capture more detailed documentation.

While we don’t anticipate pen – or paper – to disappear anytime soon, for businesses who heavily rely on documentation, especially ones facing increased regulations and governance, smudgy or messy documents just won’t do.

Financial advisors are just one example. Because financial compliance is contingent on capturing clear and detailed notes during the advisor-client interaction, many advisors and financial services firms are shifting away from manual note-taking processes and turning to technology solutions, like speech recognition, to help.

Law enforcement, too, cannot trade accuracy for urgency. While police officers need to create incident reports in a speedy manner to meet prosecution deadlines and move criminal proceedings along, they also need to ensure what is documented in their reports is highly accurate; if not, this can literally impact a case.

So with nearly 40% of police officers saying they spend 3-4 hours each day on incident reports, it’s not surprising that they, too, are looking for sharper tools to help with their documentation needs.

Everyone benefits from accurate documentation– transcription costs are lowered for those paying the bills, and workflows are automated for individuals across locations and devices; saving time, mitigating risk, and producing precise results the first time, every time, by the user.

Voice and language solutions are just one of today’s tools that enable professionals to produce intelligible, unambiguous, and thorough reports, notes, forms and other business paperwork, immediately and accurately. Not only are they intuitive to use, these technologies empower workforces to improve productivity and streamline workflows with the ability to add custom options, like templated content by voice or industry-specific terms and acronyms.

Enough ballpoint pens have been sold to draw a line to the moon and back hundreds of thousands of times; however, with no disrespect to the Bíró brothers, if you’re going to document something permanently – and when accuracy matters, sometimes you just might need a sharper instrument.

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Mobility trends: Real-time dictation helps speed in-field reporting

Mobile workers or professionals who work in the field can struggle with balancing paperwork and client service; oftentimes forcing them to spend long hours filling out forms or typing up reports, more-often than-not, after hours. Real-time dictation can help.
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Professionals who work in the field, such as caseworkers and police officers typically choose these jobs to help other people. While these careers can be highly rewarding, they also come with their unique stresses, some of which are associated with heavy documentation requirements.

Writing reports and filling out forms are a critical part of the job and falling behind is not an option; delays in report submissions can have serious consequences for the individuals and communities these professionals serve.

According to recent estimates, the mobile workforce in the US is expected to exceed over 100 million in the next few years. This growth is a direct result of both innovations in mobile broadband and technology, enabling non-office-based employees to stay productive and communicate, document and share their work wherever they are.

When it comes to documentation productivity, in particular; the rapid rise of mobility tools has made a significant impact. No longer reliant on hand-written notes, or typing reports after-hours, mobile professionals now use these intelligent applications to dictate long detailed documents and fill-out form-based reports, directly in the moment, using their mobile devices and voice.

Real-time dictation has also shown to have a significant impact on the quality of reports, since individuals are able to capture more detail and specificity versus relying on memory recall alone; which only serves to better generate the high-quality documentation that is required to do their work.

The home visits that are integral to social work is one example. With each visit, social workers need to create a home visit report after each meeting with a client. These reports provide valuable and relevant information for case assessment and planning. If details are not documented clearly – and accurately, this can impact the services children and families receive.

Police officers, who can spend upwards of 3 to 4 hours per day on police incident reports, too face similar challenges.  If their reports aren’t submitted on time to the district attorney for a court proceeding, or the information is slightly inaccurate, this can have a negative impact on a criminal case.

The number and variety of forms and reports these professionals complete in a given day is truly mind-boggling. Just imagine the positive outcomes they can achieve if they could quickly and accurately complete this documentation while working in the field. Is your mobile workforce ready?

Drive mobile documentation productivity

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Why documentation accuracy matters

Capturing detail and specificity helps those industries heavily reliant on documentation better manage compliance, reporting, and in the instance of law enforcement, bring criminals to justice.
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Documentation is a powerful communications tool. Regardless of medium – a long report, a short email, or a quick note; when captured, should represent a clear and detailed memorialization of events. And in fields like law enforcement, legal to financial services and social services, the accuracy of documentation is one of the more critical components of the job.

We talk accuracy each, and every day; how our voice and language solutions take spoken words and intelligently transcribe them into text. Above and beyond getting spelling and context of dictation right, there’s a larger concept of documentation accuracy that is essential to many of the industries we serve; namely, the ability to capture detail and specificity to better help manage compliance, reporting, and in the instance of law enforcement bring criminals to justice.

I wrote in an earlier blog about the forgetting curve; that within an hour people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information presented to them. Event-recall is one of the more important elements of effective documentation; and capturing thoughts in the moment only helps better preserve details.

From contemporaneous notes that can impact a legal proceeding; a police incident report that can determine the outcome of a criminal case; the interaction between client and financial advisor that better helps mitigate compliance risk; to a caseworker’s meeting notes that serve to determine the critical services a client receives; the stakes to chronicle daily interactions within reports, and other business paperwork accurately, effectively – and oftentimes with immediacy – is extremely important.

Law enforcement is a prime example of the material impact of high-value documentation. According to Edward F. Davis, former Police Commissioner of the City of Boston and President and CEO of Edward Davis, LLC, in some instances, the accuracy and timeliness of incident reports can determine criminal convictions.

“A major part of what we do behind-the-scenes is documenting what happened in our communities, says Davis. “Every word, every decision and every action can be subject to scrutiny and hindsight. A poorly worded or badly organized report can mean the difference between a criminal being brought to justice or going free. In fact, in my own career I’ve seen criminal convictions because of good police work combined with accurate documentation of evidence.”

It’s clear: for these and other industries, capturing detailed, actionable documentation plays an integral role in effectively serving the businesses and constituencies they serve.

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Survey finds financial advisors need help with documentation compliance

Results from the Nuance Dragon Role of Technology in Financial Documentation Compliance survey highlight how increased regulations are placing more pressure on financial services professionals to create thorough documentation to maintain compliance and client care.
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The results of a national survey of financial services professionals found that 89 percent indicate that heavy documentation demands affect their ability to efficiently produce thorough, timely reports and records of client interactions, which can impact both compliance and limit “face time” with clients.

The Role of Technology in Financial Documentation Compliance Survey, which was deployed to more than 40,000 financial service professionals, with the majority from large firms housing over 500 employees, confirms what we often hear from customers in the Financial Services sector – they struggle to balance heavy documentation demands to meet compliance, and are continually seeking new tools to help.

The demands on financial advisors to keep quality, detailed and timely notes continues to intensify.  While regulations, like the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule, are clearly a driving force, the trend is also driven by the need to foster long-term client relationships.

As in other document-intensive industries, trying to strike a balance between generating the requisite documentation needed to meet regulatory and business needs, with superior client service – all while not becoming overwhelmed with paperwork, is a struggle than many professionals face.

More than 48% of survey respondents, in fact, say that after meeting or speaking with a client they must create at least 1-full page of notes, documenting the full detail of their conversation.  These notes, which are increasingly transferred into customer relationship management (CRM) systems, also present their own set of challenges. The survey revealed that more than half of advisors found them cumbersome and frustrating to navigate.

CRM and investment research systems are used by well over two thirds of the firms we surveyed.  These systems are central in meeting the dual goals of client service and financial documentation compliance.  Firms are addressing these, as well as the larger concern of mitigating compliance risk, in part by making greater use of standardized templates, forms and disclosures.  More than 80% of respondents indicated their firms were implementing these tools.

The financial services sector has a history of embracing technological innovation to meet the demands of the day.  Our survey revealed the same: 78% of respondents indicated they would be interested in new tools, such as speech recognition, to complete documentation, drive compliance and increase productivity.

You can read the results the Role of Technology in Financial Documentation Compliance survey here.

Much has been written about the need for financial literacy to help individuals and families secure their futures and meet life goals. Financial advisors, by definition, are there to help clients in this process.  We stand ready to help make their jobs easier and more productive.

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Take a moment to honor law enforcement during National Police Week

My job has enabled me to meet with many law enforcement officials across the country. I’m constantly amazed at their motivation, strength, and dedication to serving their communities.
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On May 15th, tens of thousands of law enforcement survivors and supporters across the country will gather in Washington, DC for Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor those who have worn the badge with the utmost courage. The purpose of this observance and the week it falls on, dubbed National Police Week, is to pay tribute to those officers that have been disabled or lost their lives in the line of duty.

With this year’s National Police Week observation, I find myself reflecting on the opportunities I’ve had with my team to work with these brave men and women. My job has enabled me to meet with many law enforcement officials across the country. I’m constantly amazed at their motivation, strength, and dedication to serving their communities.

I think the most striking thing about law enforcement officials is their binary roles of both fierce protectors and common citizens. Every day, they put on the uniform and risk their lives for the sake of defending our freedom and keeping us safe. When they return home, they are mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, friends and neighbors. They are resolute in their efforts to safeguard communities because the things they hold most dearly are rooted in these neighborhoods, too.

This week is for the officers who are devoted to protecting the lives of people they have never met. This week is for the men and women committed to keeping the peace. This week is for those who can’t come home.

Today, on Peace Officers Memorial Day, I’d like to thank law enforcement departments across the country for their dedicated service spanning local, state, and federal jurisdictions, and express my sincere condolences to the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Their legacy is forever ingrained in the ideals of liberty and citizenship.

The Nuance Dragon team is proud to support these heroes and heroines, even in the smallest of ways, with our solutions. It is our distinct privilege to equip officers with tools that will allow them to continue to defend the thin blue line a bit safer.

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Balancing financial documentation productivity with compliance

An increased emphasis on compliance in the Financial Services industry has advisors and firms turning to new tools to help balance the growing need to record, document and note client interactions clearly and accurately, while managing heavy documentation demands and costs.
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A new “culture of compliance” within the Financial Services industry has many firms and advisors reaching out to us to better help manage and maintain regulatory compliance; specifically, in relation to documentation. For these professionals, noncompliance is not an option and can not only damage their reputation, but their bottom line.

Associations like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (also known as FINRA), whose mission is to safeguard the investing public against fraud and bad practices, writes and enforces rules and regulations advisors are required to meet.  According to the association’s website, they review about 100,000 individual advertisements and communications from firms to investors each, and every year.

The stakes for financial advisors are high; and, to meet compliance mandates the accuracy, detail and availability of up-to-date and actionable documentation between advisor and client is becoming more and more central to what they do.

Not surprisingly, financial advisors say that they expect regulations will increase documentation and due diligence, both of which will impact their business. In a recent study, 63% say new regulations will have a material impact to their administrative time and costs.

This increased emphasis on compliance in the Financial Services industry has advisors and firms turning to new tools to help balance the growing need to record, document and note client interactions clearly and accurately, while managing heavy documentation demands and costs.

New voice and language solutions, like speech recognition, are just one of the many technologies financial advisors  have embraced to help improve compliance as it relates to documentation.

If you are planning to attend the FINRA Annual Conference May 21-23, 2018, we will be demonstrating the ways hundreds of financial services firms are leveraging speech recognition solutions to better meet compliance by creating more detailed, accurate documentation – all by voice. Nuance will be located at booth #35 or visit here to schedule a demo or to connect with one of our representatives if you are not attending the show.

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Mojos rewrite real-time content creation

Armed with a new set of mobile solutions, professionals like mobile journalists are producing in-field, real-time content with great success.
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Like many professionals who heavily rely on in-field, real-time reporting, cloud-based mobility tools have changed the way we work. No longer reliant on hand-written notes, or memory recall, professionals from countless industries are using their smartphones, tablets, or any number of mobile devices to create, edit and distribute content. And like many industries, this is spawning new work categories, like mobile reporting and journalism, or ‘mojos.’

For those not familiar with the emerging field of mobile journalism, this new way for media storytelling, where reporters – and even everyday citizens – rely on mobile devices and digital services to rapidly capture, author, edit and share stories within local communities, is increasing and even going global with professional journalists themselves.  There’s even an annual conference, “Mojocon” dedicated to the field, now in its third year.

Why does immediate access to content make a difference? In an earlier blog, I spoke about the power of real-time note-taking and how it can help capture more detail and specificity, not to mention the immediacy of events.

For a journalist or writer, the benefits of “capturing thoughts in the moment” is magnified where significant time pressure exists to meet a deadline or be first to file a report.  In addition, digitizing real-time note-taking helps streamline documenting the details of an unfolding event, while unleashing creativity in the note-taker, as feeling and emotion can be instantly punctuated into the narrative.   In their work as story tellers, mojos may particularly benefit from this dynamic.

It’s not surprising to us to see how mobile documentation solutions are helping to foster this unique brand of storytelling. In fact, many users of our professional-grade documentation solution, Dragon Anywhere, are journalists or writers.

By capturing the immediacy of the moment, traveling to places where a physical keyboard can’t go, and quickly and efficiently allowing mojos to do everything – from dictate a story, take a photo, and upload and share it, in real-time, it’s exciting to see the creative ways different communities of users are putting mobile tools to work in their professional and personal lives.

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Paperwork, paperwork…it’s not going away anytime soon

Regardless of industry, it’s a safe bet that a large portion of the workday is spent on documentation and other paperwork, shifting time and focus away from more business-critical tasks.
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Administrators play a vital role in business and their job can vary greatly, but one constant is the amount of time placed towards documentation, and in industries heavily reliant on reporting and other paperwork, this can be a beast to manage; no matter the field and regardless of business size.

I bring this up as I was reminded today that this coming Wednesday, April 25th is Administrative Professionals day. Not being a student of history, I decided to look up the observation. Dating back to World War II, the International Association of Administrative Professionals was formed to advance the professional skills of admins and show gratitude for their role in advancing the global economy.

While we’ve seen many shifts in the administrative role and responsibilities over the years, admins and other professionals can still spend upwards of 50 percent of an average work day on paperwork – a reality that costs thousands in lost productivity per employee each year, not to mention shifting time and focus away from more business-critical tasks.

Beyond impeding business productivity, manual documentation processes hinder accuracy, and for organizations that are heavily reliant on compliance, add risk. This is a daunting task to help manage.

Law enforcement is a field particularly burdened by paperwork – 39% of law enforcement professionals admit to spending 3-4 hours on incident reporting and other documentation tasks each day. Oftentimes, incomplete reports and other paperwork is assigned to admins. These reports, many of which relate to court proceedings, means that both deadlines and accuracy are nonnegotiable.

Professionals in the Financial Services industry feel the pressure, too. Increased regulatory governance puts heightened emphasis on producing documentation with accuracy and thoroughness to remain compliant. The result: increased governance is increasing the admin burden, with 63% of financial advisors saying regulations will increase their admin tasks and costs.

Let’s face it: the astronomical levels of daily paper consumption in offices nullifies the possibility of a paperless office, but the staggering amount of time and costs wasted on poor documentation strategies should motivate organizations to adopt efficient workflows.

By integrating technology like those offered by voice and language solutions, for instance, businesses can help streamline documentation processes, and more importantly, relieve professionals and their admins of paperwork overload, enabling them to focus on more high-value, and hopefully, more rewarding tasks.

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Making a case: Voice technology and legal documentation

With law firms and legal professionals heavily reliant on documentation, voice and language solutions can help improve accuracy and efficiency.
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Documentation captures a moment in time, and the memorialization of content provides an accurate account of events. For legal documentation in particular; accuracy can have significant ramifications, especially when it comes to materials used in litigation, from briefs, case matter, to discovery, and more.

It’s not surprising for us to see, then, that many law firms and legal professionals continue to turn to technology to help with the creation and management of legal documentation, as recently highlighted in the International Legal Technology Association’s (ILTA) annual technology survey.

While the parsing out of legal documents can take many forms, filter through a variety of platforms, and be distributed across different work groups and teams, for an industry that is heavily reliant on accurate and compliant documentation, the integrity of legal materials needs to start with its initial creation.

For law firms, many of which rely heavily on precise, actionable, and accessible content, document management and automation tools, like voice and language solutions can play a pivotal role in helping to improve the accuracy of the materials they produce.

The good news; continuing advances in machine learning technology has propelled voice-powered documentation tools and the accuracy further and further over the years.

Today’s intelligent speech recognition systems not only interpret dictation, they understand context and the subtle nuances of language; capturing how words are pronounced and framed within sentences. They learn and adapt to the end-user the more and more they’re used. For instance, they can adjust to accents or adapt to different work environments, parsing out background noise. And, they are much more accurate than the human hand, delivering recognition accuracy of up to 99%.

What does this mean for an industry like the legal sector, whose documentation can make or break a case? Using voice and language solutions to help improve accuracy is a winning strategy.

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The role of voice technology in documentation workflows

Tasks, once relegated to labor-intensive, manual processes, are now being streamlined with intelligent systems that leverage voice and language; and, this is having a significant impact on how documentation and other paperwork gets done.
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The role of voice technology in today’s documentation workflows

With organizations looking for greater efficiency, it’s not surprising to see that many of the document-intensive industries we work with continue to turn to technology to boost productivity, reduce costs, and improve client service.

We see the streamlining of documentation processes happening across many different workgroups and workflows. Financial services firms, for instance, with ever expanding rules and regulations, are using voice-powered tools to more accurately create documentation and help mitigate risk and improve compliance. Police departments, whose officers can spend upwards of 3 to 4 hours per shift typing incident reports, are turning to speech recognition technology to improve reporting processes.

And, as recently noted from a survey of law firms by the International Technology Legal Association (ILTA), more and more legal practices are embracing voice and language solutions to shift tasks, such as searching documents for information to help with e-discovery, to writing case files and briefs, into seamless workflows.

Advances in machine learning technology has propelled voice-powered documentation productivity further and further over the years; above and beyond simply turning talk into text. Take all this intelligence, and couple it with powerful voice commands, such as the ability to add templated content into documents, like boilerplate text or standard clauses, and the productivity benefits these solutions offer can have a significant impact across those organizations who are heavily reliant on reporting and documentation.

Professionals who often work outside the office are also better equipped to get business paperwork done thanks to cloud-based mobile dictation solutions, and the shift for anytime, anywhere access to content.

Whatever way your organization produces and completes paperwork, managing documentation across an enterprise can go a long way in helping to reduce administrative tasks, and maximize productivity and costs. So, it’s not surprising to see the growing role voice and language solutions are playing to help improve documentation processes.

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The role of voice technology in today’s documentation workflows

RegTech, compliance and the need for accurate financial documentation

A new group of tools called “RegTech,” or Regulatory Technology, are creating a culture of compliance in the Financial Services industry; shaping how firms look to new solutions to help meet regulatory compliance, as well as automate tasks.
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RegTech, Compliance and the Need for Accurate Financial Documentation

Having worked with different document-intensive industries over the years, many of which need to meet compliance and regulatory mandates, the marriage between compliance and technology is nothing new to me. There does, however, continue to be new groupings of solutions that organizations are seeking to meet compliance mandates, as well as help manage client relationships, costs and efficiencies.

In the Financial Services sector, for instance, I’ve started to hear a lot about “RegTech” or Regulatory Technology; a group of technology solutions designed  to better help firms comply with regulatory requirements.

RegTech can have broad applications across a financial organization, from helping to expedite manual compliance processes, like data assembly and digitizing mandated reporting, to monitoring large volumes of financial transactions for unusual patterns. RegTech tools are also being used to automate tasks like identity verification.

As RegTech begins to broaden in awareness; and has a larger impact on creating a “compliance culture” within financial services firms themselves, it’s not surprising that professionals within the industry are exploring ways in which technology can help meet their business needs, many of which tie back to compliance.

Take the creation and management of financial documentation and reporting, as one example. According to market intelligence firm Cerulli Associates, over 33% of financial advisors say new regulations, like the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Ruling, are driving them to use digital-based technology to help. And 63% say regulations will increase administrative time and costs, such as documentation and due diligence.

When it comes to documentation integrity, in particular; financial services firms are meeting compliance by using standardized documents, boilerplate language and automated forms to deliver consistency in the client and regulatory documentation they produce.  Compliance officers want to ensure this documentation is created not only efficiently, but accurately, every time and by every user.

Voice and language solutions, like speech recognition, are just one of the many technologies financial advisors  have embraced to improve compliance as it relates to documentation. Using these intelligent speech recognition systems, advisors can create detailed and accurate documentation – all by voice, as well as automate tasks, such as adding centrally managed templates and boilerplate in required paperwork.  Advanced features, like the ability to insert blocks of pre-approved text simply by speaking a command, like “insert disclosure A,” are made possible by these powerful systems.

Flexibility and precision, which is offered by voice and language solutions, like speech recognition, is just one way in which financial services firms can meet compliance goals, and technology, like RegTech, will play a pivotal role in helping them meet these challenges, as well as empower their employees with the right tools to do their jobs.

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RegTech, Compliance and the Need for Accurate Financial Documentation

Mobile documentation: The power of real-time note taking

In fields like law enforcement, social services, legal and insurance, the ability to capture notes with detail and specificity is critical to what they do. Mobile documentation solutions can help.
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When it comes to reporting, mobile professionals and field workers need to sweat the small stuff. After all, report thoroughness, detail, and accuracy play a key role in achieving successful outcomes.

Police incident reports can make or break a case. An insurance adjuster’s report can determine whether claims are settled. Caseworker documentation is critical to the services clients receive. And legal professionals rely on accurate documentation pertinent to each case or matter.

Because generalities and vague recollections simply won’t get the job done, relying on memory alone is risky business. In fact, research on the forgetting curve shows that within one hour people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information presented to them. Within 24 hours, this jumps to 70 percent, and within a week, forgetfulness reaches its peak of 90 percent.

This is not surprising to us. When individuals dictate notes directly in the moment, versus having to recall details from hours before, they capture more specificity within their documentation – because speaking thoughts out loud produces a real-time narrative of the situation.

And in many instances, speaking notes, versus typing them by hand, helps unleash creativity. We see this most often with individuals who struggle with writing, including students.

According to Cathi Graveline, of the Foothills Academy in Calgary, her students are using mobile dictation applications, like Dragon Anywhere, to get homework done faster and smarter. “Dictating their work helps to free up cognitive space so that students don’t lose their thoughts and ideas while worrying about the mechanics of writing,” Cathi told us.

While mobile professionals may not be focusing on the creative-side of report writing, per se, when details really matter, arming them with tools to help with real-time note-taking is a powerful way to support what they do.

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Mobility trends shaping documentation productivity

As the demand for access to content across devices and platforms continues to rise, so too is the need to empower employees with the ability to get their work done from anywhere. We see this shift taking place within many of the document-intensive sectors we serve, from social services, legal, finance, to public safety.
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Remember AT&T’s “You Will” commercial from the early 1990’s featuring voice-over from actor Tom Selleck as a man sends a fax from the beach? Watching this ad twenty-five years later shows how amazingly prescient it was, foretelling a trend central to how professionals would communicate, and document those communications today:  mobile and inter-connected.

We see the embodiment of this vision in familiar solutions now, from tablets, voice-enabled mobile apps, and cloud-based document sharing tools like Evernote, to name a few. The growing shift in how we work and live is also evident in an ever-expanding mobile workforce and growth predictions in spending on mobility solutions.

As the demand for access to content across devices and platforms continues to rise, so too is the need to empower employees with tools to help them get their work done from anywhere.

This is already happening within many of the document-intensive sectors we serve, from social services, legal, finance, to public safety – all seeking smarter applications to help employees document in the field or on the road, so they can capture more details of their interactions to improve report accuracy and productivity.

Today, we’re excited to announce new updates to Dragon Anywhere and Dragon Anywhere Group – our cloud-based, professional-grade iOS and Android dictation solutions for mobile professionals and field workers.

With our recent update, we’ve added quite a few requested features, including a significant update to the Correction menu to provide functionality closer to our desktop versions of Dragon.  Working alongside today’s mobile versions of Microsoft Office, and seamless synchronization with Evernote, these solutions provide a highly networked “anytime, anywhere” environment for professionals who want to easily create and manage documentation on the go.

How will documentation and communications evolve in the next 5 years?  I’m confident Nuance will continue to deliver intelligent applications to help.

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Transforming documentation by voice

We see the powerful impact our voice and language solutions are having within the document-intensive industries we work with daily. It’s just as exciting today as it was twenty years ago; when we first introduced Dragon Speech Recognition as the first-ever continuous dictation solution.
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New voice and language solutions continue to impact productivity at every level – from improving workflows for document-intensive industries, to simplifying daily tasks.

The automation of these tasks – whether at home or where we work – rely on a set of intelligent systems; all of which use complex algorithms driven by machine learning to take a human ability, like language, touch or a simple gesture, and transform it into an action.

In fact, this was the premise that Dragon Speech Recognition was built upon over twenty-years ago; to take the everyday task of typing and transform it into a simpler process by voice.

The first iteration of Dragon Speech Recognition was the “smartest of smart” for its time – taking incoming streams of sound and interpreting them into dictation. What used to take hours to do; namely typing a document, turned into literally minutes, all simply by speaking into a computer.

Advances in Deep Learning technology has turned the complex algorithms our engineers scratched out on their white boards back then into reality. Today’s intelligent speech recognition engines not only interpret dictation, but also understand its context; distinguishing between words like homophones (for example: to, two, and too). They recognize the difference between dictation and a command, like “open Microsoft Word.” And the technology learns and adapts the more it’s used, learning the subtle nuances of spoken words. It can even distinguish, and parse out, background noise.

The power of all of this built-in functionality has propelled documentation productivity further than we could have ever imagined twenty years back.

Hundreds of police departments, whose officers are spending 3 to 4 hours each day typing incident reports, are improving their documentation processes tenfold.  Law firms, whose clients are becoming ever more tech-savvy, are embracing voice-powered documentation solutions to shift labor-intensive tasks, such as searching documents for information, automating e-discovery, to writing case files and briefs, into seamless workflows. And financial services firms are using the accuracy that speech recognition offers to mitigate risk and improve compliance, in the face of expanding rules and regulations.

For the document-intensive industries that we work with daily, seeing the transformative impact our voice and language solutions are having is just as exciting today as it was twenty years ago when we first started automating talking into text.

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Automating everyday tasks with AI-powered tools

AI-tools are taking timely tasks and automating them. Reports that once took hours to write are being completed in minutes. And interactions with devices and systems are more human like than ever.
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We’ve been automating everyday tasks with computers for years. In fact, twenty years-ago Dragon Speech Recognition was first introduced to automate the task of typing. Back then, we were only scratching the surface of what machine learning could do.

Today, advances in AI-powered tools are having an even greater impact, from making everyday documentation tasks less time-consuming, to interactions with smart automotive assistants more human-like than ever before.

Law enforcement is a great example. Take incident reporting. While it’s central to what officer’s do; it also means they can spend 3-4 hours each day writing reports, oftentimes working at the station instead of being out and visible in the community. AI is helping.

How? Using sophisticated statistical models, AI-powered speech recognition technology analyzes an incoming stream of sound and interprets it into dictation or a command. Through machine learning, it can distinguish between a range of accents, understand the context in a sentence (like “whether” and “weather.”), and knows how to differentiate between dictation and a command, like, “look up license plate Alpha Bravo Tango One Two Three.”

Today, hundreds of departments are using tools like Dragon Law Enforcement to automate this critical task. Now, a report that once took hours to write is literally being completed in minutes.

Likewise, financial services firms are also using AI-tools to complete daily tasks, from automating client interaction, using “robo-advisors” which rely on sophisticated algorithms to generate tailored financial plans, and help with documentation so they can adhere to compliance rules and regulations.

Advisors are even dictating extemporaneous conversations with clients and entering this data into their firm’s CRM system to create more personalized financial plans.

There are countless other ways that businesses are realizing the powerful benefits of AI-tools, and I’m ever more excited to see what the next twenty years will bring.

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Enterprise mobility: When paperwork isn’t a 9 to 5 job

For field workers or mobile professionals who are often challenged with having to balance heavy documentation demands with other tasks, the work week oftentimes extends beyond 9 to 5. Intelligent mobile, cloud-based applications can help improve productivity.
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More often-than-not, paperwork doesn’t start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. For many professionals who travel outside the office or work in the field, heavy reporting requirements can oftentimes extend the 40-hour work week as they strive to keep up with documentation and other reporting demands.

Social service professionals need to diligently complete paperwork as part of client assessments, or when preparing collaborations with other professionals. Insurance adjusters are required to fill out and submit assessment when responding to and completing claims. Legal professionals often take notes during client meetings, to be set aside for later transcription back at the office.

Professionals who work in these document-intensive industries need to meet critical reporting deadlines and ensure accurate and timely communication, oftentimes to meet business and regulatory requirements – all in the course of a regular work day.

If you’re like many of these professionals, you may constantly find yourself dividing time between the office and the road. So, it’s important that your productivity tools support a fluid workflow—one that lets you start documentation in one location and finish it in another without any hassle.

Today, thanks to robust, cloud-based mobile dictation solutions, professionals who often work outside the office are better equipped to get business paperwork done from anywhere.  Documents, reports and forms can be dictated in real time, not only for immediate productivity gains but for improved accuracy and specificity. And content sharing platforms, like Evernote, provide immediate access to and sharing of content across devices from any location.

Intelligent mobile and cloud-based applications may not reduce the amount of documentation you face each day; but may help maximize productivity so you can get more done between 9 and 5.

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New AI-powered tools help officers improve incident reporting

Transparency is important in law enforcement, and earning the trust of the citizens we serve is one of our most important tasks. Edward F. Davis, a 35-year veteran in law enforcement and former Police Commissioner of the City of Boston, talks about why reporting accuracy is so crucial.
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Almost every police officer you’ll meet joined law enforcement to protect and serve citizens. That’s our mission and goal.

A major part of what we do behind-the-scenes is documenting what happened in our communities. Every word, every decision and every action can be subject to scrutiny and hindsight.

Transparency is important in law enforcement, and earning the trust of the citizens we serve is one of our most important tasks. This is why reporting accuracy is so crucial to what we do – everything we say and do can make a difference.  It can also end up on video, in the news, or as part of a high-profile court case or insurance claim.

A poorly worded or badly organized report can mean the difference between a criminal being brought to justice or going free. When we want to ask city and town officials to spend resources on new equipment or personnel, we need to be able to produce solid facts to back up the ask.  The statistics our departments collect are often how crime statistics are compiled, and how government agencies determine funding for law enforcement personnel and grant awards.

It’s no surprise, then, that police officers not only need – but seek – tools that will support and enhance their ability to quickly file accurate and complete reports. In fact, according to a recent survey 77% of law enforcement professionals say they are interested in exploring new technology to help with incident reporting and other police paperwork.

I am excited about new technologies that can help; a new category of tools backed by artificial intelligence (AI) that are using the power of voice and language to work with police technology rather than compete with it.

Speech recognition solutions like Dragon Law Enforcement, allow officers to use their voice to dictate reports instead of manually producing them.

According to the product team at Nuance*, this technology uses machine learning and adapts to and learns more as you use it.  The product has 99% recognition accuracy.

It’s these types of tools, ones that support successful policing, that can help officers produce detailed, accurate reports – quickly and efficiently – so they can focus more time on the people they serve.

*Edward Davis, LLC is a security consultant to Nuance

Paperwork in Police Work Survey

2018 Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Annual Report finds inefficient documentation impedes report accuracy, officer safety and time in the community. Learn more.

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Documentation is on the move

As the way we work and live continues to evolve, new mobility trends see more professionals seeking smarter applications to help them get their work done from anywhere.
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As people continue to use their mobile devices to access content, it’s not surprising to see, as part of this mobility trend, a growing demand for intelligent applications to help complete documentation. While the trusty desktop isn’t going away anytime soon, new and powerful cloud-based solutions mean more employees want to use their mobile devices to complete work.

We are seeing this trend take place with many of the document-intensive industries we serve. Social service professionals are seeking voice-enabled mobile tools to document in-field interactions with their clients, so they can not only capture more details but improve report accuracy and productivity. A growing number of legal professionals are using mobile devices to take client notes in real-time and then transcribe them back at the office. Even educators are arming students with tablets and voice-powered technology to tap into new ways to unleash student creativity.

Professionals in these, and countless other industries, are leveraging mobile documentation productivity tools to help them complete everyday documentation tasks faster and more accurately.

The Foothills Academy is a prime example of the growing shift in how we all work. The Calgary-based school is using Dragon Anywhere Group, our cloud-based, professional-grade mobile dictation tool to help students get homework done smarter, all by voice.

According to Cathi Graveline, the Academy’s Assistive Technology Specialist, students as young as 8 years old are using Dragon and their iPads to dictate homework and classroom assignments. “Our population of students with Learning Disabilities are experiencing increased independence, success and confidence, as Dragon helps to eliminate or minimize barriers that interfere with the writing process, such as spelling and handwriting,” says Cathi

“Dictating their work helps to free up cognitive space so that students don’t lose their thoughts and ideas while worrying about the mechanics of writing,” she continued. “Students often tell me that their marks have improved since they started using Dragon. To quote a grade 8 student “Dragon is my best friend”

As the way we live, and work continues to evolve, I don’t’ see the demand for mobile tools ending anytime soon.

Drive mobile documentation productivity

Give your mobile workforce the power to get paperwork and other documentation done wherever their job takes them, with Dragon Anywhere Group, the cloud-based professional-grade mobile dictation solution for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

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Survey finds inefficient documentation processes cost officers time

Officers at every rank agree that the incident reporting they do is very important, but as with many document-intensive jobs, there are concerns that it will overwhelm and could eventually burn them out, according the results of a national survey published in the 2018 Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Annual Report.
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The results of a recent survey of the nation’s law enforcement officers confirms what we hear most often when meeting with police departments across the country – paperwork is keeping them away from the communities and citizens they serve.

The demands for quality, timely and detailed documentation, although a necessary part of police work, continues to intensify for law enforcement professionals at every level, virtually everywhere in the nation.

Police departments are accountable to the communities they serve, as well as a wide variety of government and regulatory agencies. These pressures increase every year, with calls for more transparency and community involvement in policing. Officers at every rank agree that the paperwork they do is very important, but as with many document-intensive jobs, there are concerns that it will overwhelm and could eventually burn them out.

Nuance Communications, makers of Dragon Law Enforcement speech recognition software, deployed a survey to more than 12,000 police chiefs and their command staff recently and found 39 percent of respondents said they spent 3-4 hours daily on incident reports and other-police paperwork. More than 30 percent of those surveyed said they spend at least a quarter of their day back at the station working on reports, not out on the streets or responding to citizens.  And nearly 15 percent said they spent more than half of their workday on reporting duties.

The officers who participated in the survey agreed that time spent on incident reporting is taking them away from more high value-tasks such as being visible in the community.

Records Management (RMS) and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems, used by more than two thirds of the departments we surveyed, are helpful and are essential to documentation workflows, however, getting to and entering data takes multiple clicks and can sometimes prove uncomfortable due to ergonomic issues of entering data in patrol cars, according to 52 percent of the officers we surveyed.

You can read the full 2018 Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork annual report here.

The good news: police officers say they are open to change – more than 77 percent of the officers we surveyed said they were willing to explore new technology and transcription tools in 2018 that would help them complete paperwork in a more efficient manner.

We’re excited to help departments explore their options.  Police officers want to put the people they serve ahead of paperwork, and we stand ready to help.

Paperwork in Police Work Survey

2018 Role of Technology in Law Enforcement Paperwork Annual Report finds inefficient documentation impedes report accuracy, officer safety and time in the community. Learn more.

Learn more

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Innovations continue to shape the legal industry

An increasingly tech-savvy client base means law firms need to adapt to a more informed, client-centric approach and embrace innovative ways to use technology to manage client relationships, costs and efficiencies across the practice.
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Innovations, such as artificial intelligence (AI), are integral parts of our professional and personal lives, making our work easier and our lives better. Like many industries, the legal sector is not immune to experiencing a transition in how employees work because of new technologies.

Labor-intensive tasks, such as searching documents for information relevant to lawsuits and other litigation, are automated with powerful e-discovery applications and document workflow solutions. Web-based legal practice management software helps firms manage case filings, billing and communication with clients more efficiently. And a new mobile-world, where everything is stored and accessible in the cloud, increases productivity for professionals by delivering information any time, any where.

An increasingly tech-savvy client base means law firms, like everyone, need to adapt to a more informed, client-centric approach and embrace innovative ways to use technology to manage client relationships, costs and efficiencies across the practice.

We see this trend taking place with law office productivity software in particular, as recently reported in the annual International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) technology survey. Nuance’s speech recognition, document capture and workflow, PDF editing and redacting, and cost recovery solutions are all among the most widely used solutions in law firms. Read more here.

For a profession that is highly document-based, it’s not surprising that tools like speech recognition are being sought out. As voice becomes a common input method (with 61 percent of firms surveyed reporting using voice-to-text technology), the labor-intensive task of legal documentation is one of the many innovative ways firms are transitioning from what were once manual processes to a more streamlined voice-enabled approach.

With shifts in client service, and as law firms cultivate groups of younger lawyers who have grown up with technology, the need to modernize and capitalize on trends will move from a “nice to have” to a “must have.” Is your firm ready?

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The positive outcomes of documentation productivity

In business, sometimes it’s the intangibles that result from deploying new technology that have a greater impact to the bottom line – and, not all can be measured in pure dollars and cents.
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There are tangible ways to measure success in business. Revenue goes up as share of the market increases. Business becomes healthier as you manage cash flow towards profits. And you see a surge in web traffic as you expand your digital footprint. These are all positive outcomes that can be measured in a concrete manner.

From artificial intelligence to building social communities, businesses continue to look at new tools and trends to drive growth in 2018.  More-often-than-not, however, it’s the intangibles that result from deploying new technology that have a greater impact to the bottom line – and, not all can be measured in pure dollars and cents.

Take documentation productivity tools as a prime example. With increased regulatory governance, document-intensive industries like financial services face increased requirements to produce more detailed, accurate client plans, reports, disclosures, and other documentation.

In fact, financial advisors say they can spend upwards of 24 percent of their workday on administrative tasks, like paperwork, as a result of new compliance standards. Using technology solutions like speech recognition, financial advisors can improve documentation workflows and produce tangible results, from boosting efficiency, reducing compliance risk, and improving costs.

But, it’s often the less tangibles outcomes – those that aren’t necessarily visible on the printed page – that drive a more powerful impact, such as the goodwill and longer-term relationships that result from improved client service.

Similarly, getting officers to create incident reports in a faster, more efficient way can save departments hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars. But an even more important outcome is keeping officers safer and out in the community.

When an officer can dictate a report by voice (instead of being heads down in the patrol car typing into the MDT, or mobile data terminal), he’s more situationally aware. His risk of ambush goes down because he’s alert and has his eyes on his surroundings. Also, if he’s spending less time back at the station manually typing reports, he has more time to spend in the community keeping us all safe.

It’s the impact technology has on everyday lives that has me most excited in 2018.

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